Data driven journalism

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Data driven journalism

  1. 1. Carol Perruso Journalism Librarian Feb. 12, 2013 DATA-DRIVEN JOURNALISM: THE BASICS
  2. 2. WHAT IS DATA-DRIVE JOURNALISM? • "Data-driven journalism enables reporters to tell untold stories, find new angles or complete stories via a workflow of finding, processing and presenting significant amounts of data….” • Henk van Ess, Dutch reporter
  3. 3. ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT IT
  4. 4. FIRST: DATA OR STORY IDEA? • “Data journalism begins in one of two ways: either you have a question that needs data, or a dataset that needs questioning.” –Paul Bradshaw
  5. 5. WHAT’S INVOLVED? • Data has to be found, which may involve computer research skills or good old reporting or FOI requests. • Reporter has to get to know the data. • Analysis: What story does the data tell? • Make data accessible/understandable by readers: Story/graphics
  6. 6. FINDING THE DATA • Bradshaw outlines the ways you might get data. They might be: • Supplied by an organization (“how long until we see ‘data releases’ alongside press releases?”) • “Found through using advanced search techniques to plough into the depths of government websites” • “Compiled by scraping databases hidden behind online forms or pages of results” using specialized tools. • Converted from documents into a form that can be analyzed • Pulled from APIs (application programming interfaces) • Collected by the reporter
  7. 7. GETTING TO KNOW THE DATA • CLEAN IT UP: • Removing human error: • Removing duplicate entries; • Deleting blanks • Converting descriptions to a uniform format/language (e.g. BBC or B.B.C or British Broadcasting Corporation) • Converting the data into a format that is consistent with other data you are using. • TOOLS: Find and Replace in Excel or Google Refine
  8. 8. INTERVIEW THE DATA • Do you speak the same language? • Where do you come from? • Who created you? • How were you gathered? • What are your goals? • Do they match yours?
  9. 9. ANALYSIS: SOME EXAMPLES • Sort by scale: highest to lowest e.g. highest to lowest paid public employees • Adding it up: e.g. Total amount of salaries paid to players of a professional baseball team • Average: Average pay for an employee in a certain job category • Geographical groupings and distribution
  10. 10. TOOLS: WHAT ARE REPORTERS USING? • Excel • Google Fusion • SPSS • Access • Google Refine • Social Explorer www.socialexplorer.com • Python • Tableau Public
  11. 11. VISUALIZATION: EXAMPLES • New York Times: The 2012 Budget, How $3.7 trillion is spent. • Immigration trends: New York Times • Netflix rental patterns: New York Times • Pay patterns: Sacramento Bee • Gas prices: Los Angeles Times
  12. 12. DATA TO PLAY WITH • Earthquake data • Earthquakes • Survey on gun ownership vs. gun control • Rights to own guns survey

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