MediaMill Gazette 52

The Panama Papers, bike thefts, dashboards and football crowds.


The biggest story in data journalism history

If you have even a passing interest in data journalism then all you’ll be seeing for the foreseeable future are the Panama Papers; 11.5m documents leaked from law firm Mossack Fonseca. Everyone from Putin to David Cameron’s father is implicated and it’s already claimed the PM of Iceland. Nieman Labs has a good, initial round-up of the ‘process’ which included encrypted chat (the recent whatsapp encryption announcement makes an interesting counterpoint to this). Matt Burgess over at Wired also has a nice roundup. From a data perspective, the big question is when do we get our hands on the data. I’d say, don’t hold your breath. Richard Sambrook writing in The Conversation has a good take on that.  Expect this one to run and run.

#Floodhack16 – where next?
A belated mention for the Leeds Floodhack. Some interesting spin out activity to keep an eye on including the launch of ThingsLeeds which shows some joined up thinking with Manchester.

Government to make bus firms publish open data
“Privately run services will be made to follow London’s lead in making information openly available for app developers”

Open Data activity of UK councils
An interesting bit of research for Durham County Council by Gregory Marler looking at exemplars for local government open government data. A mention for Leeds in there.

In the future, everyone will be a data scientist for 15 seconds
An interesting insight into the way data dashboard klipfolio have changed their approach in recent years.

How An MIT Data Viz Guru Is Exposing Cryptic Government Data
A nice look at how Cesar Hidalgo from MIT put together . It uses census data to create a pretty impressive range of data stories. It makes an interesting point about the discoverability of data like the census which is “hard to access, and even harder to Google”

Bike Thefts in England and Wales
A nice bit of analysis and visualization from Heather Dawes.

DCLG Local Digital passes baton to Local Digital Coalition
“DCLG’s successful Local Digital Programme ended on 31 March 2016, passing on the digital baton to the Local Digital Coalition,a federal grouping of councils and national organisations for local government.” You can read the LDC’s action plan at their website. 

Don’t Teach Data Journalism Without Teaching Mobile-First Design
Markham Nolan Head of Viz @vocativ has a simple point to make You cannot teach data journalism without teaching how to make it look good on a screen smaller than a pack of cards.

“Investigative brand journalism”: The Guardian and Amazon step into the next level of sponsored content
An interesting piece about the Amazon Studios commissioned a piece of investagative journalism essentially to promote Season 2 of its original drama Bosch.

Action Research in Audience Analytics – project completion and evaluation
NESTA resources and report on their project to explore how understating audience can help sustainable hyperlocal journalism. Well worth a read.

Going open: assessing risk
Amongst all their open data releases, Defra have also released their Open Data Risk Assessment Tool  which they use to assess the risk of making data available. Also worth a read is Why publish data, unless you want it to be used?

European countries making clear progress with Open Data
An interesting read on the ongoing work to map EU countries readiness for open data. Perhaps as interesting are the comments asking why the data underlying the report isn’t open (and the answer)

Football attendance figures are inaccurate and don’t tell the whole story 
An interesting piece about using the crowd to understand the crowd (or lack of) at football matches.

Open for Data: Developing open, cloud-based data warehouse architectures
Integration is always going to be a challenge in open data especially if you’re looking at the way private companies can open up their data. So even though this is a bit techy, its interesting to see how big players like IBM think about open data both practically and conceptually.

You may have heard that the ODI have been developing an open data game called Datopolis. Some swish dashboard elements emerging it seems.