Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Data reporting and visualization (Page 5)

How to ask programming questions

After picking a programming language to learn, inevitably you’ll need to ask for some coding help. “It doesn’t matter if you’re chatting with an instructor, emailing a listserv like NICAR, posting on Stack Overflow, or even just tweeting out a question, there are ways to make sure your question gets answered,” write Sisi Wei and […]

5 recommendations for data science in journalism

“Data science” has become a buzzword. News Corp’s Rachel Schutt explains how news outlets can actually use data scientists. “The transition for the news industry from print to digital is not necessarily a smooth transition, but for data people it represents an opportunity because now [outlets are] using behaviours to quantify consumption of news.” Among […]

Data mining reveals how news coverage of disasters varies around the world

Researchers in Qatar have analyzed the news agendas in different parts of the world to see how the coverage reflects actual events in other parts of the world. To visualize the different news agendas, they’ve created cartograms to reflect the coverage. Some are unsurprising, but the anomalies are worth noting:  “People everywhere consumed relatively large […]

How data is central to the New Statesman’s digital ‘spin-offs’

“We’ve got staff that are very interested in data… and it’s something that we’ve always looked at particularly in terms of polling data,” said Helen Lewis, deputy editor of the New Statesman. Two new distinct sites, CityMetric, looking at urban statistics, and election portal May 2015, are ways for the staff to explore data around […]

3 reasons BuzzFeed and The New York Times posted their datasets on GitHub

The Source team talked to editors at The New York Times and BuzzFeed about why they decided to share their datasets on the distribution of military surplus gear to US counties and extreme racial segregation in St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located. “It’s been great to see the stories that newsrooms have already written […]

How I Got That Fact: A government database that really works

As part of our efforts to expand and improve fact checking, the American Press Institute regularly presents tips on how media organizations around the country chase down facts. Today, Peter Hancock of the Lawrence Journal-World reveals a valuable resource and offers step-by-step instructions on how to check a candidate’s claim about job growth. Background: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback […]

How not to skew data with statistics

Kio Stark recaps a SRCCON session on identifying and exploring things you can do in advance to avoid skewing your data, and to help improve your understanding of how math and design affects the data and its interpretation. + Job-hunting tips: Spread the word, network, be patient and persistent(The Buttry Diary)

How Spotify is using ‘deep learning’ to improve its playlists and recommendations

A Spotify intern and Ph.D. student, Sander Dieleman, published a blog post laying out his work to improve Spotify’s recommendation algorithms using deep learning to analyze the acoustic properties of songs. Dieleman explains that the goal of his research was to make it easier for new or obscure songs to get included among listeners’ recommendations. Essentially, he […]

How ProPublica uses a “reporting recipe” to cook up collaboration

Joseph Lichterman writes about how ProPublica published a “reporting recipe,” a step-by-step guide for other reporters to use its data to write their own stories about restraints in schools. As part of the reporting recipe, ProPublica is connecting interested journalists with potential sources who could provide anecdotes of schools restraining students. “Our goal is not […]

Israel, Gaza, war & data – the art of personalizing propaganda

“While war rages on the ground in Gaza and across Israeli skies, there’s an all-out information war unraveling in social-networked spaces,” writes Gilad Lotan, chief data scientist at Betaworks. “The better we get at modeling user preferences, the more accurately we construct recommendation engines that fully capture user attention. In a way, we are building […]

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