Week 5 – Data Journalism – #AOMedia13

@Maid_Marianna #wmindata

So it turns out Data Journalism has more to it than just cool info graphics. I guess I secretly knew that but it was interesting to think about as the session went on, especially as it made me realise how ‘Data Journalism’ is behind so many of the headlines these days. Leaks, Surveys, percent; Marianne explained it was literally a jack of all trades approach with both investigation and analysing the data topping by far how its presented in the end. As if you don’t get the data right, there isn’t much point in displaying it after all. Her definition was to ‘acquire and extract in order to give sense and shape the information’.

An interesting point she made was with the BBC’s World at 7 billion web page. She pointed out this story had been done and covered very well, but this data journalism gave it a new edge, a new way of looking at the story and this way was almost completely personal to you.

The Basic How To do Data Journalism went as follows:

  1. Find a Question, that you’re passionate about
  2. Get the Data you need to answer it
    • OJB
    • Wikileaks
    • CableSearch
    • Crowdsourcing.org
    • Data.Gov (.uk)
    • Search for filetypes on google with the Site: and File: tags (Good for finding XLS)
    • Freedom of INformation
    • Do your own Surveys/Crowdsourcing
    • Buzzdata
    • Scraper Wiki/Data Mining
  3. Clean the Data! (Use Google Refine)
  4. Read it! And research the names and numbers to find the stories behind the figures
  5. Present it
  • Story
  • Simple Table
  • Charts
  • Manyeyes.com
  • Wordle.net
  • Tableau Public
  • Google Fusion Tables

A useful point Marianne made about this process was the benefits of presenting your clean data early so you can use the charts to focus in on specific parts of the data sets.