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.
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.
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.
I’m currently writing an article on digital currencies for a future, small-run magazine edited by Crazy Little Things. To complement the article, and to try to learn some new data-journalism skills I decided to do also a timeline of the most relevant digital currencies for the past 20+ years. This is the result:
How it’s done
I used Inkscape to draw the SVG file: timeline, bars and text, and create the layout. Then I added basic interactivity by hand using a text-editor. The content is based on my own research for the article. I plan to include in further releases a csv with the source data used in the timeline so it’s easier for others to replicate it using other tools.
Regarding interactivity, right now you can uncover some contextual information hovering your mouse over certain years, and click on the names of the digital currencies to go to their website or get more information. I plan to add more contextual information on the currencies, explaining the type of currency and the reason it dissapeared, if needed.
The project (just an SVG file) is hosted on Github. You can download it, fork it, open a new issue, send ideas or suggestions. The project is under a NC-BY-SA Creative Commons licence. This is my first time using Git and Github for a project like this, and I’ll share my experience in a separate post. I can tell you now that I’ll definitely keep using it.
I’m also open to criticism on the timeline content: Did I miss a critical digital currency project? Should I remove something from the timeline? Is any of the data wrong? I’m all ears.
Know that the most important part of data journalism is… journalism. Reporting. In other words, you know how to report a story, you understand how to treat data as a source. You know how to pick up a phone, and not just assume that everything you get in data form (especially government data) is complete and accurate.
You have at least basic data skills — meaning, you know your way around a spreadsheet. You can figure out for yourself how to import data, and do something with it. You also understand the basics of data analysis: rates, ratios, sums, averages, medians, and how to use them.
You have command of more advanced data analysis skills, such as GIS, basic statistics, advanced SQL, etc. You also may know some basic programming techniques (using the language of your choice… Python, Perl, Ruby. ILENE.. shoot, even .NET) to scrape the web, get and clean data.
You have some skills with a web framework (Django, Rails, Grails) in order to enhance your reporting online through data-driven applications that you create from scratch and host.
CartoDB is a powerful and open source geospatial data management and visualization tool. It does everything Google Fusion Tables does, and more. If you’re comfortable with SQL queries and CSS (CartoDB uses Carto, a stylesheet language from Mapbox similar to CSS), you can get amazing results, including hexagonal density grids, or editable and interactive maps. They have more case examples in the gallery, and you can find many more examples online.
In the workshop we learned how to do the basic stuff: upload different kinds of data, visualize them, merge them and tinker a bit with the SQL queries and Carto stylings. We did two maps during the workshop: Spanish unemployment by provinces and life-expectancy rates by country:
I had a CartoDB account way before the workshop but I never got around to try it. I don’t know why, but I thought it was harder to use than Google Fusion Tables, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how easy it was to work with it. Now I’m looking forward to see how can I use CartoDB in my projects.
When the iPad was unveiled a year and a half ago, it was received with enthusiasm by media companies, especially by their directive boards, as it provided two essential things for them:
A closed, confortable and standardized environment to receive content. Like good old magazines, but with video and rich-media ads.
An opportunity to charge for content again, by creating scarcity, taking advantage of the walled garden of the iTunes store and selling apps like they sold magazines in the past.
But this approach overlooked several important flaws:
Apple, while the biggest player in the market (at least for now), is not the only one. Any effort would have to be repeated, and then maintained, to gain more potential audience for any other platform (Android, Blackberry…). It’s not escalable.
The company has to give Apple a 30% cut of their subscription sales through the app, and probably will not have access to their subscribers’ data.
In september, almost 40 million iPads were sold worldwide since the tablet was introduced one year and a half before. Why would you limit to a potential audience of 40 million when there are hundreds of millions of other devices capable of internet access?
What will happen when the iPad and iOS are surpassed by newer, better technologies? Change is unavoidable, and in a world of planned obsolescence, it doesn’t make much sense to tie yourself to a product that will be obsolete in a few years.
Lately, there has been a trend that seems to take a more thoughtful, long-term. sustainable approach called responsivedesign. The first to jump the boat was the Financial Times, with an HTML5 app that avoids the iTunes app store and lets users access the app directly through the browser. That was a good start, but it was still rooted on the idea of developing an specific product for just one platform, in this case, iOS.
Instead, Propublica made some changes in their site to allowed it to adapt to the screen size of the visitor’s device, whether smartphone or tablet of any size, and independently of the device’s operating system.
The redesign of the Boston Globe was an even more ambitious project. It’s probably the first news website fully redesigned under the responsive web design paradigm, which means it’ll adapt its layout to the characteristics of the device used to acces the site.
If journalism is not a product, it’s a process, a platform-agnostic approach that will deliver, with quality, consistence and coherence, the same news, reports, analysis and commentary, no matter what you use to read them, makes much more sense. It also allows the company to retain control and independence over their most important assets: their audience and how they access their content.
Over 2012 we’ll see more and more media companies sailing away from the siren chants of the iPad and getting the control of their own future back with HTML5 responsive design websites. Those who don’t will see their efforts scattered ineffectively accross a handful of platforms, draining precious resources away from meaningful innovation.
Como todos sabéis a estas alturas, el grupo terrorista ETA ha declarado su abandono definitivo de las armas. En los 53 años que han pasado desde su fundación, ETA ha asesinado a 829 personas. No, a 858. No, no, 952. Espera un momento, ¿cuántas son las víctimas de ETA?
¿Cómo se explican estas diferencias? En el caso del Colectivo de Víctimas del Terrorismo del País Vasco la inclusión de las víctimas de los Comandos Autónomos Anticapitalistas como víctimas de ETA infla el número hasta llegar a 952. La esquizofrenia de La Vanguardia se debe a que una de las noticias es de la agencia EFE, que da por bueno el número de 858, mientras que la información propia se queda con 829. Este número es el reconocido oficialmente por el Ministerio de Interior y el Gobierno Vasco, mientras que la Asociación Víctimas del Terrorismo defiende el número de 858, probablemente incluyendo víctimas de incidentes o acciones terroristas no reconocidas por ETA. Los números de la Fundación Víctimas del Terrorismo y de ABC probablemente estén simplemente desactualizados respecto a sus fuentes, mientras que el origen del número de El Mundo es un misterio, puesto que no se acerca a ninguna de las otras fuentes.
Mención aparte merece La Información en este conjunto de gráficos, en el que cada uno tiene una cifra total de víctimas diferente.
Primera víctima mortal: ¿1960 o 1968?
La fecha del primer atentado mortal de ETA también es controvertida. Algunos medios dan por buena la atribución a ETA de la muerte del bebé de 2 años Begoña Urroz Ibarrola en un atentado con bombas incendiarias en la estación de tren de Amara en 1960, a pesar de que ETA nunca ha reivindicado este atentado y de que la mayoría de fuentes apuntan al DRIL (Directorio Revolucionario Ibérico de Liberación). Oficialmente, la primera víctima mortal de ETA es José Pardines Arcay, en 1968.