04 May 2015

 

Hint hint… Do I hear a relaunch is in the works?.. Yes Indeed. A new, fresher, bolder and savvier DJB will go live soon alongside exciting new projects.  We thought it was about time to redecorate the place and give it a good upgrade.

The support we’ve had since the launch of the DJB in 2011 has been phenomenal. Even at times when new content wasn’t published frequently, the number of visitors and followers kept on growing. 2015 is a great and exciting year for journalism and the thirst for innovation in the newsroom has never been greater. So we’ve seriously thought about things and decided it was time to take action and relaunch the Data Journalism Blog. 

The new DJB will be bolder, savvier, smarter, and packed with new reviews, how-to guides and interviews about data journalism and innovative story telling for the web. We have exciting projects coming up, including our own compelling data journalism content and collaborations.

The great relaunch will happen in the next few weeks and we look forward to tell you more about it soon, but in the meantime here is a glimpse at our brand new logo…

DJB-Logo-2015-short

[Watch this space]

19 Mar 2012

Hello DJB Community,

If you’ve noticed a lull in activity here at the Data Journalism Blog over the last couple of weeks, it’s because the site has been undergoing a few changes. Marianne has got the DJB to where it is single-handedly but now that she has other commitments we (Neha-Tamara Patel and John Burn-Murdoch) will be taking over editorial responsibilities – don’t worry, Marianne will be keeping an eye on our progress! (You can read her final post here)
We are aspiring data-journalists studying on City University’s MA Interactive Journalism course, and along with our class-mates we aim to continue the DJB’s peerless coverage of data-driven journalism.

As far as content is concerned we will be trying not to stray from the formula that has worked so well thus far, although we have plans for a couple of new additions. The two areas on which we aim to focus are highlighting the best data-visualisations on the web, and building a strong online community here at datajournalismblog.com.

Alongside these aims we will continue to showcase developments in the field of data journalism, be it through interviews with leading data journalists, guides to using software or reviews of new data-related tools and applications.

Another section will look at the life-cycle of a data-driven news story, as we bring you updates on a series of ongoing investigations into topics including public spending, education, health and crime statistics.

As always, we would love to hear what you think about our plans, and we welcome comments on any of the above as well as thoughts on the site in general!

John and Neha
19 Mar 2012

 

Since its launch in April 2011, the Data Journalism Blog has come a long way. Started as a postgraduate project from City University, London, it is now considered as a reference for data journalism news and is read by journalists, designers and other data enthusiasts from over 58 countries.

As the founder and editor of the DJB, I got to meet incredible people in the world of journalism and to participate to compelling projects such as the Data Journalism Handbook. This website has been a great way for me to share my passion for data journalism with others and to set up an independent platform dedicated to the skills needed to work with data in the newsrooms.

Among the great opportunities that the Data Journalism Blog generated for me was the chance to work for Bloomberg News, one of the biggest media organisations in the world, as their new Web Producer for the EMEA zone. My role involves, among other tasks, working on interactive data visualisations for their websites Bloomberg.com and Businessweek.com.

I am delighted to be joining their team and my work at Bloomberg will be one of the most exciting. But it will also be very time-consuming and rather impossible for me to keep up with this blog and develop it to its full potential. I’m therefore a bit sad and weirdly emotional to say goodbye to the DJB today.

But instead of letting this platform die out of my lack of attention, I decided to hand it over to the next generation of data journalists! I met with postgraduates in Interactive Journalism at City University in London and agreed to give them control over the future content of this website. Being a City alumni myself, I understand how important it is to have a platform where your work can be appreciated and I hope the DJB will give just that to this group of aspiring data journalists.

From now on, the very talented John Burn Murdoch and Neha-Tamara Patel, who both write for the Guardian on a regular basis, will be in charge of publishing new content on the website and developing the DJB community further with help from their classmates at City.

The Data Journalism Blog is now set for a life of its own and I can only thank again John and Neha as well as their course leader Jonathan Hewett for taking on the challenge. I’d also like to thank the readers for their support and the many journalists, editors, programmers and other data geeks for their help throughout this journey.

John and Neha will tell you a bit more about the future of the DJB in this introductory post

I hope to meet many of you again in the future, until then, Aurevoir…

Marianne Bouchart

Founder of the Data Journalism Blog

email: marianne_bouchart@mac.om

 

 

16 Mar 2012

 

The XCity Award was set up in 2011 to mark the 25th anniversary of XCity magazine, a publication made by postgraduate students in Magazine Journalism from City University, London. It aims at recognising “outstanding contributions to journalism made in the past year by alumni.”

Simon Rogers, editor of The Guardian’s Data Blog won the inaugural prize last year and one of this year’s shortlisted alumni is…well, myself! (Data Journalism Blog editor Marianne Bouchart)

I had a lovely chat with Natasha Wynarczyk about my work for the Data Journalism Blog and a profile was published on the XCity website today. Other nominees include Wannabe Hacks founder Ben Whitelaw and Ramita Navai, who reported on human rights abuses in Syria. Compelling stories about the six nominees as well as further information on the award can be found on their website.

Here is the link to my story and let’s keep our fingers crossed until 22 March when the winner of the £500 prize will be announced on their website.

 

14 Nov 2011

This video is cross posted on DataDrivenJournalism.net, the Open Knowledge Foundation blog and on the Data Journalism Blog.

The Data Journalism Handbook is a project coordinated by the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation, launched at the Mozilla Festival in London on 5 November 2011.

Journalists and experts in data gathered to create the first ever handbook to data journalism over a two-days challenge.

Read more about the Data Journalism Handbook in this article by Federica Cocco.

What data tool or great example of data journalism would you add to the handbook? Let’s make this comments section useful!

Every contribution, big or small, to the Data Journalism Handbook is very much appreciated. So use this space to give us links and examples to what you think should be included in the manual.

And if you feel more chatty, email us at editor@datajournalismblog.com

14 Nov 2011

By Federica Cocco

This article is cross posted on DataDrivenJournalism.net, the Open Knowledge Foundation blog and on the Data Journalism Blog.

Ravensbourne college is an ultramodern cubist design school which abuts the O2 arena on the Greenwich peninsula. It is perhaps an unusual and yet apt setting for journalists to meet.

Members of the Open Knowledge Foundation and the European Journalism Centre saw this as a perfect opportunity to herd a number of prominent journalists and developers who, fuelled by an unlimited supply of mocacchinos, started work on the first Data Journalism Handbook.

The occasion was the yearly Mozilla Festival, which acts as an incubator to many such gatherings. This year the focus was on media, freedom and the web.

The manual aims to address one crucial problem: “There are a lot of useful resources on the web,” Liliana Bounegru of the EJC said, “but they are all scattered in different places. So what we’re trying to do is put everything together and have a comprehensive step-by-step guide”.

In data journalism, most people are self-taught, and many find it hard to keep up-to-date with every tool produced by the industry. “It could be vital having a handbook that really explains to journalists how you can approach data journalism from scratch with no prior knowledge, ” says Caelainn Barr of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Friedrich Lindenberg of the OKF believes there is a real urgency in making newsrooms data-literate: “If journalists want to keep up with the information they need to learn coding, and some bits of data analysis and data-slicing techniques. That will make much better journalism and increase accountability.”

And who better than the New York Times’ Interactive Editor Aron Pilhofer, The Guardian Data Blog’s Simon Rogers and others to lead the ambitious efforts?
In charge of sorting the wheat from the chaff, around 40 people joined them in the sixth floor of the college, for a 48 hour session.

The first draft of the handbook should be ready in the coming months, as other contributions from every corner of the web are still working on making an input.
Of course the first data journalism handbook had to be open source. How else would it be able to age gracefully and be relevant in years to come?

Workshops of this sort represent a decisively different break from the past. Aspiring data journalists will know that hands-on sessions are a cut above the usual lectures featuring knowledgeable speakers and PowerPoint presentations. Discussing the topic and citing examples is not enough. After all, if you give a man a fish you have fed him for a day. But if you teach a man ho w to fish, you have him fed for a lifetime.

Jonathan Gray concurs: “Rather than just provide examples of things that have been done with data, we want to make it easier for journalists to understand what data is available, what tools they can use to work with data, how they can visualise data sets and how they can integrate that with the existing workflows of their news organisations.”

At the event itself, after a brief introduction, the crowd split into five groups and began collaborating on each chapter of the handbook. Some were there to instill knowledge, others were there to absorb and ask questions.

“I like the fact that everyone is bringing a different skillset to the table, and we’re all challenging each other”, one participant said.

Francis Irving, CEO of ScraperWiki, led the session on new methods of data acquisitions. He believes the collaboration between journalists, programmers, developers and designers, though crucial, can generate a culture clash: “When working with data, there’s a communication question, how do you convey what you need to someone more technical and how do they then use that to find it in a way that’s useful.”

“A project like this is quite necessary,” noted Pilhofer, “It’s kind of surprising someone hasn’t tried to do this until now.”

The free e-book will be downloadable from the European Journalism Centre’s DataDrivenJournalism.net/handbook in the coming months. If you want to follow our progress or contribute to the handbook you can get in touch via the data journalism mailing list, the Twitter hashtags #ddj and #ddjbook, or email bounegru@ejc.net.

Watch here the full video report from the Data Journalism Handbook session at the Mozilla Festival, 4-6 November in London.

The organisers would like to thank everyone who is contributing to the handbook for their input and to Kate Hudson for the beautiful graphics.

 
About the author: Federica Cocco is a freelance journalist and the former editor of Owni.eu, a data-driven investigative journalism site based in Paris. She has also worked with Wired, Channel 4 and the Guardian. 

 

06 Nov 2011

 

Editor’s note: We are not publishing this article about data journalism blogs to bookmark just because the DJB is one of them. Alright, partly because of that but also because we think the other blogs mentioned  are the ultimate references for data journalism. Also because it mentioned the Mozilla Festival and that we really loved the event. Which blogs would YOU add to the list? Let us know in the comment section!

10,000 WORDS – By Elana Zak

Today is the start of Mozilla Festival, a weekend-long celebration of sorts that brings together web developers, journalists, media educators and students to work on open web projects and learn from one another. #MozFest’s program includes design challenges, learning labs, presentations and more. There will also be plenty of time for people to simply chat with one another and possibly brainstorm the next idea that will transform the web.

One event that stood out to me calls for a group to kickstart the writing of a data-driven journalism handbook. Led by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the European Journalism Centre, the project’s goal is to create a handbook that will “get aspiring data journalists started with everything from finding and requesting data they need, using off the shelf tools for data analysis and visualisation, how to hunt for stories in big databases, how to use data to augment stories, and plenty more.”

Data journalism has quickly become a popular field yet many reporters are still in the dark about it. How do you go about getting the data? What do you do once you have the data? A perfect resource would be the data journalism handbook, but since it hasn’t been written yet, I came up with a list of six blogs that should definitely be added to your bookmarks tab, whether you’re looking for inspiration, basic skills, or advanced knowledge.

The first three are below and the last half will be published on Monday.

ProPublica Nerd Blog

ProPublica is constantly creating amazing tools using data journalism. In the last year, they’ve created apps that delve into topics such as education and healthcare. On the Nerd Blog, members of ProPublica’s News apps desk not only explain the latest apps and how to use them but also how the team created them. I highly recommend you check out the post, “Scraping for Journalism: A Guide for Collecting Data.” Dan Nguyena ProPublica news developer, gives a step-by-step explanation of how the team created itsDollars for Docs app and shows readers exactly what tools to use to recreate the app (or even make another one.)

The Guardian’s Data Blog

Almost every week, The Guardian is rolling out stories and graphics based on data journalism, many of which are highlighted on its Data Blog, making it a great place to go for inspiration. For example, take a look at their story on where the super poor are in the US. It includes maps and charts, all derived from a ton of data. While the site is aimed at already experienced data journalists, it is a great place for all levels to go and see what the experts in the field are doing.

Data Journalism Blog

The Data Journalism Blog isn’t specifically attached to any one news organization but instead acts more as an overall resource for data journalists. The site, led by multimedia journalist Marianne Bouchart, not only displays examples of great graphics, but it also provides how-tos, guides, and interviews with other data journalists. If you’re looking for a new concept to try out or where the next data journalism seminar will be held, I’d recommend visiting this blog.

Don’t forget to check back on Monday for Part 2: 6 Data Journalism Blogs To Bookmark.
17 Apr 2011

Wordle Art made by the DJB team

Journalists have tried for years to turn often complicated information into comprehensible news articles, graphs, or timelines. Some succeeded more than others.

What makes a difference today is the technology and design skills involved. After the recent Wikileaks scandals and the raise of “open knowledge”, journalists have to acquire new skills to keep up with the trend. Data journalism is often considered as an essential tool for the future of news.

Whether you are a journalist, a designer or simply a data lover, the Data Journalism Blog brings you the latest news on data driven journalism with reviews, how-to guides, interviews and news features.

The DJB is also a platform where you can comment, share and add to the content you read. So feel free to join in and let us know what you think!