Tag Archives: Manchester Evening News

Data journalism in broadcast news and video: 27+ examples to inspire and educate

channel 4 network diagram

This network diagram comes from a Channel 4 News story

The best-known examples of data journalism tend to be based around text and visuals — but it’s harder to find data journalism in video and audio. Ahead of the launch of my new MA in Data Journalism I thought I would share my list of the examples of video data journalism that I use with students in exploring data storytelling across multiple platforms. If you have others, I’d love to hear about them.

FOI stories in broadcast journalism

victoria derbyshire gif

Freedom of Information stories are one of the most common situations when broadcasters will have to deal with more in-depth data. These are often brought to life by through case studies and interviewing experts. Continue reading

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Newspapers on Twitter: who has the most click-throughs – and why?

Regional newspapers on Twitter - percentage of followers retweeting

Regional newspapers on Twitter – percentage of followers retweeting – click for interactive version

Newspaper Twitter accounts with the highest click-through rates tend to follow more people, customise tweets for Twitter and engage in more conversation, according to an analysis by Patrick Scott in the first of a series of three posts.

The number of followers a Twitter account has is often assumed to be representative of the influence they command. But is it what we should be measuring? Continue reading

Sentencing data update: Manchester Evening News make another splash

Since I wrote about the need for more data journalism around sentencing in August, the Manchester Evening News have been beavering away keeping track of riot sentencing data on their own patch with stories on the first 60 looters to be sentenced and the role of poverty. Last week the newspaper finally made a splash on the figures.

The collected data led to this front page story: Looters jailed straight after Manchester riots given terms 30 per cent longer than those punished later.

While another article builds up a detailed profile of the rioters with plenty of visualisation, and links to the raw data.

The MEN’s Paul Gallagher had previously told me in an email correspondence that they were expecting at least 250-300 cases to be going through the courts in total, making “enough to make a very interesting and useful dataset but not so many as to make it too big a job.

“This spreadsheet is being completed using information provided by our journalists in court. The MEN is committed to staffing every court hearing so we should be able to fill this over time. This is a trial project limited only to the riots, and I don’t know if we will do anything with other court data in future.”

At the time Paul was trying to set up a system that would see court reporters add information when they covered a case, a system that could be used to publish court data in future.

“One of the biggest problems I have found is that we can produce graphics quite easily for online using Google Fusion Tables and other tools but it is difficult to turn these into graphics that will work in print without getting a graphic designer to recreate the image.”

A couple months on Paul remarks that the project has required significant editorial resources:

“Around ten MEN journalists have either sat in court to take down details of one or more riot cases in the last three months, or have been involved in the data analysis.”

He also says the exercise has raised some questions about the use, and sharing, of court data.

“Although the names and home addresses of adult defendants are published in court reports in the media, it does not seem appropriate to include them in shared spreadsheets, or to plot them on street level maps.

“For that reason, I decided to remove the names and personal details when we plotted home addresses of defendants on a map of Greater Manchester to visualise the correlation between rioters and high levels of poverty and deprivation.

The Manchester Evening News have not decided if they will continue their data work on other non-riot-related court data, which Paul feels “begs the question why court data is not publicly available from official sources.”
“At the moment there is no other way of getting this information than to have a person sat in court at every hearing, jotting down the details in their notebook and then copying them into a spreadsheet.”

The data and visualisation was also used in last night’s Panorama: Inside The Riots. Disappointingly, the Panorama website and solitary blog post include no links to the MEN coverage or data, and the official Twitter account not only failed to link – it has failed to tweet at all in almost two weeks.

Manchester Police tweets and the MEN – local data journalism part 2

Manchester Evening News visualisation of Police incident tweets

A week ago I blogged about how the Manchester Evening News were using data visualisation to provide a deeper analysis of the local police force’s experiment in tweeting incidents for 24 hours. In that post Head of Online Content Paul Gallagher said he thought the real benefit would “come afterwards when we can also plot the data over time”.

Now that data has been plotted, and you can see the results here.

In addition, you can filter the results by area, type (crime or ‘social work’) and category (specific sort of crime or social issue). To give the technical background: Carl Johnstone put the data into a mysql database, wrote some code in Perl for the filters and used a Flash applet for the graphs. Continue reading

Which news sites do and don’t get a ‘last updated’ time in Google

Some news sites get a last updated time stamp in Google – and some don’t. It’s a bit of information next to the URL that says XX minutes ago and shows when the most recent story was published.

Not all news sites get it – although I can’t see any rhyme or reason (originally posted here).

Sites that do have it

The sites that do have it are: Times, Telegraph, BBC News, Express, ITN, Guardian. (Click the picture for a bigger version).

News sites with a time stamp

News sites with a time stamp

The Express could probably live without it, as I recently showed that they don’t update their site after 8am on a Sunday. Continue reading

Lessons in community from community editors #6: Sarah Hartley, MEN

I’ve been speaking to news organisations’ community editors on the lessons they’ve learned from their time in the job. Today, Sarah Hartley, head of online editorial for MEN Media, publishers of the Manchester Evening News and www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk. Her role includes managing and developing its online communities. She also blogs about online journalism at www.sarahhartley.wordpress.com and is on twitter @foodiesarah.

1. Participate

Unless you’re accepted as a member of the community, it will be difficult to successfully manage or maintain it. As in life, outsiders are mistrusted or their motives misconstrued.

Participating doesn’t just mean adding your own comments or clarifications to debates when required, but can also mean responding with further action.

If an inaccuracy is pointed out – amend it and don’t be worried about doing this publicly; it shows you’re listening. Taking on board legitimate points made by other members of a community you belong to is one way to ensure your blog/product/news service or whatever is more successful.

2. Not just a policeman

The MEN site is unusual among newspaper websites for pre-moderating all interactions with the public – comments, picture submissions, video etc. so my take on this may be slightly different to sites who post-moderate.

The pre-moderation policy means the team editing this material every day need to make snap judgements on what is, or isn’t, acceptable. No small task. The danger we have to guard against is that the activity becomes all about preventing things from happening rather than enabling them to happen.

So while policing for dangers is necessary, it’s important to remember that it isn’t the only activity – some encouragement and welcome is also needed.

3. Spell it out

Take a look at your terms and conditions. Are they written in English or legalese? Users can’t realistically be expected to understand what “defamation” means or have intricate knowledge about the race relations act.

However they can, for example, be expected to sign up to not insult others or use bad language.

Publish guidance notes on the standards of behaviour you do expect but make sure they have a friendly approachable tone to them. As well as helping users get an illustrated idea of what’s required, it also cuts a lot of time in explaining why something hasn’t been published because you can refer the user back to the policy.