Media Mill Gazette 23

The BBC, FOI and Open data (again) and hippo attacks!

** A distinctive BBC and local news (

The big news for anything media related this week was Tony Hall’s speech outlining the next stage of the BBC’s re-positioning in the media landscape. The big headline from a hyperlocal perspective is the idea of a hub of journalists covering, what journos often call ‘court and council’. There’s been some chatter about where hyperlocal sit in all of this. Having read the speech (and the repor ( t) , I don’t see hyperlocal excluded. If anything Hall and the report go to great lengths to paint a broad (and maybe confusing) church of provision outside the BBC. Anyone can pitch to be part of this civic-reporting pool which raises the question about the capacity of hyperlocals to scale or come together to compete with the regional newsgroups. Hall also announced that there would be a new Data Journalism hub. If I was a gambling man I’d put money on where that would be based (not London). But regardless of
location, it raises the same questions about hyperlocals capacity to engage with that resource.

All of this against the background of an ongoing consultation about hyperlocals (


** Open data camp (

A reminder that the second open data camp is happening in Manchester on the 10th &11th of October. Tickets going fast if they haven’t already gone..


York’s 20 most polluted streets revealed (

A bit of data journalism from York. According to the Journo’s this data from this came from an FOI not the data store. No word from them if the data store is on their radar yet.

** Open data and FOI

The relationship between FOI and open data (mentioned last week) continues to get an airing with a number of comment pieces on the way open data and FOI could work together more ( and how some are apparently getting round it. ( I think the relationship between the two has the chance of becoming quite toxic as the commercial/innovation focus that many in open data have sort to cultivate gets mired in the politics of FO.

** Course: Investigative Stories from Open Data (

The Centre of Investigative journalism has a short course running in London that ” will show you how to piece together stories – and even find scoops – through data which is already freely available, as long as you know where to look.” It was the distinction between open data and, well, other types that caught my eye. Investigative journalism still firmly of the belief that the data it needs has to be extracted rather than found.

** Five ways that open data can improve your life (in Bath) (

A nice roundup of open data projects in and around Bath. Some nice inspiration here

** Defining Open data (

An interesting table that compares different definitions of open data from GovLab

** Rural Broadband manifesto (

Will Perrin from talkabout local has a draft manifesto for rural broadband that aims to “Focus on the citizen, not the telecoms corporation; Connect, inform and empower people to help themselves” and suggests “Co-operation, not competition – the market has failed in these special areas companies, regulator and government need to work together in a new pact.”

** Isle of Wight innovates in a new area of Journalism (

Algorithmic journalism has some traction in the US but its interesting to see it being experimented with by a hyperlocal. When a data release happens, the programme looks for mention of the Isle of Wight and then builds a story. A light edit and its ready to go.

** A diverse local news ecosystem is emerging, and it doesn’t need ‘scale’ or venture capital (

Like many Medium posts, there is an element of advertorial but the overview the market in the US and the message that it doesn’t have to be the same as we have always worked is compelling.

** Open-data incubator for Europe Odine hands out €650,000 to seven startups (

Odine, the European open data incubator has put out a list of companies it’s funded so far. The stress is on innovation – health and economic. An interesting mix.

** Beyond open data: Into the okavango (

A great insight into the way you can use open data, sensors and storytelling together. Of course it helps if you have hippo attacks to spice things up a bit!

** 2013 – 2015: What have we learnt about community journalism? (

A round-up of thoughts and research from Cardiff’s centre for community Journalism.

** What is derived data? (

A nice overview of what constitutes data ‘derived’ from other sources. Especially interesting when you’re constructing data sources from a number of sources and planning to make them open data.

** Selling England by the offshore pound (

A great piece of investigative journalism from Private eye with more than a hint of data visualisation.

** Nature: Three Trillion Trees and counting ( (behind the scenes)

A really fascinating insight into the process of creating a wonderful visualisation. The whole tumblr is a really great insight into the way visualisations are planned, commissioned and executed .

** Interesting stuff

An installation that makes jewellery out of pollution, tennis, light pollution and more.