Pizzas and footballs are both round. That’s enough justification for us. Image: Adam Kuban
Next Friday (November 13) I’ll be holding a day full of activities in Birmingham for anyone interested in digging into the world of football agents.
You won’t need any special skills – you can take part by doing basic internet searches, or you can bring your data journalism mojo and play with the data we’ve already gathered.
And we’ll also have people on hand to show you a range of useful techniques if you’re interested.
The special hackday is part of an investigation I’m doing, and we’re also working with OpenCorporates as part of their #FlashHacks series to build open data on football agents, identifying the biggest operators and their ownership structures.
If you can’t make it for the whole day feel free to drop in for part of it. Oh, and there’ll be pizza, stickers and t-shirts.
The event will involve journalists from the BBC and other news websites in the Midlands – but more importantly it’s open to anyone who wants to get stuck into data related to the key issues this election.
Last week I spent a thoroughly fascinating day at a hackday for journalists and web developers organised by Scraperwiki. It’s an experience that every journalist should have, for reasons I’ll explore below but which can be summed up thus: it will challenge the way you approach information as a journalist.
Disappointingly, the mainstream press and broadcast media were represented by only one professional journalist. This may be due to the time of year, but then that didn’t prevent journalists attending last week’s Liverpool event in droves. Senior buy-in is clearly key here – and I fear the Birmingham media are going to left behind if this continues.
Because on the more positive side there was a strong attendance from local bloggers such as Michael Grimes, Andy Brightwell (Podnosh), Clare White (Talk About Local) and Nicola Hughes (Your Local Scientist) – plus Martin Moore from the Media Standards Trust and some journalism students.
The data behind the cancellation of Building for Schools projects
Leisure facilities in the Midlands.
Issues around cervical smear testing
And our group, which decided to take on the broad topic of ‘health’, within the particular context of plans to give spending power to GP consortia.
By the end of the day all groups had results – which I’ll outline at the end of the post – but more interesting to me was the process of developers and journalists working together, and how it changed both camp’s working practices. Continue reading →