Friday, 14 August 2015

Storytelling with data

Data journalism can be much more than an impressive, interactive visualization or an inmmersive longform piece. There’s also the option of letting the data and the visualizations lead the storytelling, allowing for a much deeper comprehension of the subject at hand, as it’s the case with this work from the Tampa Bay Times. There, visualizations lead the story to show us the case they are investigating and explain to us why it’s important, taking us through each step.

Visit the story to see for yourself.


Friday, 10 July 2015

Podcasts are the next frontier of the digital media revolution

During the last 20 years, almost every communication business, channel and practice has been dramatically subverted by the digital deluge. We live today in a world where Telcos are content providers, an online shop produces TV series, newspapers are no longer in paper, TV is increasingly more downloaded and streamed than broadcasted and radio… well, radio is mostly still there, just as it was 20 years ago. The only unscathed survivor of the digital media apocalypse that has dethroned kings and built new behemoths. At least until now.

Ira Glass - This American Life
Ira Glass – This American Life

For some reason, podcasting has never been much of a threat to traditional radio stations, despite the hype about ten years ago. Actually, if you think about it, there are a few reasons:
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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Friday, 25 April 2014

#jpd14 – Gabriela Rodríguez (La Nación) & Mar Cabra (ICIJ, Civio, OKFN…)

Gabriela Rodríguez (La Nación), speaking at the II Jornadas de Periodismo de Datos in Barcelona:

Successful media companies work with their communities

Data journalists share with hackers their passion about what they do.

There’s a lack of collaboration between journalists. They should take more risks. The more successful journalists would be those that reach out and collaborate with more people.

Mar Cabra (ICIJ, Civio, OKFN…), speaking at the II Jornadas de Periodismo de Datos in Barcelona:

Journalists and coders share a vision of the world based in their curiosity.

#jpd14 – Juan Francisco Caro (Extremadura en Datos)

Juan Francisco Caro (Extremadura en Datos), speaking at the II Jornadas de Periodismo de Datos in Barcelona:

Data journalism is not just getting data out there. You have to verify sources and master statistical concepts to avoid publishing mistaken assumptions and interpretations. If not, information becomes disinformation.

#jpd14 – Nicola Hughes (The Times)

Nicola Hughes (The Times), speaking at the II Jornadas de Periodismo de Datos in Barcelona:

If you can write it, record it or film it it’s not from the web, you’re putting something else on the web

Data journalism is becoming too popular, in the sense that some people think that it’s enough to do some line charts, bar charts, just putting data out there, but they are not telling the story. There’s a need for storytelling.

The internet is transient, there’s no control over the tools you use, they can disappear. But knowing how to code solves that. And it also helps to document, backup, reproduce projects, and reuse tools in different projects.

The problem right now is not that information is scarce, it’s the opposite, organisations and institutions publish a ton of information, and because most journalists only look for press releases and copy to rewrite, interesting things become hidden in the deluge.

Advice to journalists: Take risks. Use your imagination. Think of yourself as a craftsman.

There’s no such thing as “I don’t know”, just “I haven’t googled it yet”.

Do one coding course, just one, and then start building things. You have to write a lot of bad poetry to start writing good poetry. it’s very much a craft.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

#jpd14: data journalism event in Barcelona

This whole weekend the second edition of the Jornadas de Periodismo de Datos will take place in Barcelona, Madrid and Almería, starting today. I’ll be participating with a modest workshop on spreadsheets in Barcelona on Saturday, but the speaker roster is filled with pretty big names in the spanish and latin-american data journalism community. The sessions are streamed online, but if you happen to live in any of the hosting cities, it’s worth attending the sessions on site.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

How to get rid of a newspaper editor

No han echado a Pedro J. porque los ministros no fuesen a sus entregas de premios. Eso era solo simbólico. Las presiones han sido mucho más sencillas: han consistido en cortar el grifo de la publicidad institucional. Según cálculos internos de Unidad Editorial, la guerra desatada por el escándalo Bárcenas –y especialmente por los SMS del presidente del Gobierno al extesorero del PP– le ha costado al grupo unos 14 millones de euros en publicidad institucional.

Todas las administraciones gobernadas por el PP, desde el Ministerio de Empleo hasta el Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, pasando por Castilla-La Mancha o la Comunidad de Madrid, han cortado el grifo de las subvenciones a El Mundo. Todo ese dinero público, que el PP reparte arbitrariamente y utiliza para domesticar a los medios de comunicación, ha pasado de El Mundo al ABC. Y de la misma manera que hace unos años Esperanza Aguirre se cargó a José Antonio Zarzalejos, hoy Mariano Rajoy ha desbancado a Pedro José.

via La extinción del PedroJotasaurius Rex.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Data visualization of electoral census in Galicia, Spain (II)

Galicia is holding its Autonomy elections in October 21st, and the National Statistics Institute has released a small set of data from the electoral census. Working with this data we first saw how councils in Galicia have a varying percentage of their constituency living abroad, with some councils having more than 50% of their voters living outside Spain. We’ll continue to explore that data in the coming days, but today I want to take a look at how age also defines the voters profile in Galicia.

Migration is one of the key factors influencing the distribution of the galician electoral census. The other one is age, which is also a consequence of the first one. In the first graph we see the total census distribution by province and age. We can see clearly that the western provinces (A Coruña and Pontevedra) have much more weight in the census than the eastern ones (Lugo and Ourense). We can also see that the differences between these two groups are much more evident in the younger half of the census, but we can’t see clearly how important age is in the census distribution in Galicia.

In this second graph we can see the percentage of voters in each province by age, so we can more clearly see the weight of age in each of the four provinces. Lugo and Ourense in the east are the more aged provinces, both because of demographic trends and because of young people leaving for the richer provinces of Pontevedra and Coruña, other parts of Spain and abroad.

Relative data, as percentages, allow us to compare provinces and see the weight of each age group more clearly than when working with absolute numbers like the total number of voters.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Data visualization of electoral census in Galicia, Spain (I)

Galicia, an Autonomy inside Spain, is having elections on October 21st. The spanish National Statistics Institute has released some data about the electoral census of the Autonomy, specifically regarding its age and population living in foreign countries. Galicia has a strong migration history and almost 15% of the electoral census lives abroad, although only 3,68% will vote, due to electoral laws restricting and difficulting the voting rights of a collective that registered participation levels above 30% in the past.

In the map above we can see the percentage of electoral census living abroad by council. The data ranges from 0.88% in Burela, to almost 55% in Avión, Bande and Gomesende.