Python is an extremely powerful language for journalists who want to scrape information from online sources. This series of videos, made for students on the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University, explains some core concepts to get started in Python, how to use Colab notebooks within Google Drive, and introduces some code to get started with scraping.Continue reading
Tag Archives: Python
How one Norwegian data team keeps track of their data journalism projects
In a special guest post Anders Eriksen from the #bord4 editorial development and data journalism team at Norwegian news website Bergens Tidende talks about how they manage large data projects.
Do you really know how you ended up with those results after analyzing the data from Public Source?
Well, often we did not. This is what we knew:
- We had downloaded some data in Excel format.
- We did some magic cleaning of the data in Excel.
- We did some manual alterations of wrong or wrongly formatted data.
- We sorted, grouped, pivoted, and eureka! We had a story!
Then we got a new and updated batch of the same data. Or the editor wanted to check how we ended up with those numbers, that story.
…And so the problems start to appear.
How could we do the exact same analysis over and over again on different batches of data?
And how could we explain to curious readers and editors exactly how we ended up with those numbers or that graph?
We needed a way to structure our data analysis and make it traceable, reusable and documented. This post will show you how. We will not teach you how to code, but maybe inspire you to learn that in the process. Continue reading
Here’s the thinking behind my new MA in Data Journalism
Journalisme et code : 10 grands principes de programmation expliqués
Cedric Motte asked if he could translate Coding for journalists: 10 programming concepts it helps to understand into French. Here’s the result – first published on NewsResources.
Si vous envisagez de vous mettre à la programmation, il y a de fortes chances que vous butiez sur une série de termes techniques, un jargon qui peut être particulièrement rébarbatif, notamment dans les tutoriels, dont les auteurs ont tendance à oublier que vous êtes inexpérimentés en programmation.
Les sections qui suivent décrivent et indiquent dix concepts que vous êtes susceptible de – non, que vous allez – rencontrer. Continue reading
Coding for journalists: 10 programming concepts it helps to understand
If you’re looking to get into coding chances are you’ll stumble across a raft of jargon which can be off-putting, especially in tutorials which are oblivious to your lack of previous programming experience. Here, then, are 10 concepts you’re likely to come across – and what they mean.
A variable is one of the most basic elements of programming. It is, in a nutshell, a way of referring to something so that you can use it in a line of code. To give some examples:
- You might create a variable to store a person’s age and call it ‘age’
- You might create a variable to store the user’s name and call it ‘username’
- You might create a variable to count how many times something has happened and call it ‘counter’
- You might create a variable to store something’s position and call it ‘index’
Variables can be changed, which is their real power. A user’s name will likely be different every time one piece of code runs. An age can be added to at a particular time of year. A counter can increase by one every time something happens. A list of items can have other items added to it, or removed. Continue reading
Two reasons why every journalist should know about scraping (cross-posted)
This was originally published on Journalism.co.uk – cross-posted here for convenience.
Journalists rely on two sources of competitive advantage: being able to work faster than others, and being able to get more information than others. For both of these reasons, I love scraping: it is both a great time-saver, and a great source of stories no one else has. Continue reading