MediaMill Gazette 76

Sunlight, cartogram hexmaps and Albert Cairo. It’s Media Mill. 

Statement from Sunlight Foundation’s board chairman
Shock all around as the Sunlight foundation, one of the best known civic-data and accountability organisations, announced it was essentially considering its position. People have been keen to point out its not closing but some think it could mark the end of the organisation as we know it.  It’s hard to find an UK analogy for the sunlight foundation. A more civic-minded ODI doesn’t really do it (or the ODI) justice. It’s another example of how the ‘foundation’ system works so well at creating these essential and universally useful orgnaisations across the globe.
A few more posts worth a look

– Sunlight Foundation will lay off 5 ahead of merger push
– The Sunlight Foundation: Turning Off Its Light?
Sunlight Foundation scales down, may merge
Who Funds Infrastructure for Journalism and Civic Tech?

ICIJ publishes leaked Bahamas info to offshore database
As one accountability organisation moves in to a new phase, it may be down to other organisations like the ICIJ to pick up the transparency baton. The latest news from Panama Papers org is that the ICIJ, Süddeutsche Zeitung and other media partners are making details from the Bahamas corporate registry available to the public.

Professors become students: Bringing data journalism into the classroom
An interesting side story on this look at a 12-day data journalism workshop for journalism academics. Data-J trainer Eva Constantaras wonders if can we sneak in #datajournalism at university level in countries without media freedom

Event: Saturday 29th of October!Empty housing innovation lab Leeds
Liam Bolton from Leeds based studentdatalabs.com popped up in my feed last week reminding us of the nice Pedestrian casualty map they produced for Data Mill North (nice how-to post on the R in the background to this). There’s another event coming up built around a (popular) data set. It’s also worth checking out Liam’s post on his time as a fellow at the BBC News Labs including the interesting R package NewsStat designed to  extract key statistics from online news sites.

Your Guide to Master Hypothesis Testing in Statistics
An attempt to “explain hypothesis testing and reading statistical significance to differentiate signal from the noise in data”

Tilegrams: Make your own cartogram hexmaps with our new tool.: Simon Rogers explains Google News Labs new cartogram tool and why cartograms are better than simple maps. 

How ZIP codes nearly masked the lead problem in Flint
Recently I’ve become really interested in the way data describes communities and how it may not always be an accurate view. The piece by  speaks to some of those issues. Those working with postcodes and Lower Layer Super Output Areas might feel similar frustration

How to fix Data.gov.uk (or at least make it suck less for users)
“DGU’s key strategic failure is the lack of active curation.” says Owen Boswarva.

Data-driven journalism in the post-truth public sphere
Nicolas Kayser-Bril has come up with a good but tricky read for me (as an ‘academic’). Whilst I agree with a lot of the sentiment, the general gist of academia is broken and data journalism is the only rigorous methodology for truth in town is a nice idea but I’m not convinced.  Kayser-Bril runs Journalism++ who have also just started some online journalism course online at JQuest. Worth a look 

Using open data and volunteered geographic information for smart cities.
Or how VGI could become the UGC of smart cities 😉  

EVENT: What can data journalists and digital humanists learn from each other?
The answer might just be revealed at the Digital Humanities + Data Journalism Symposium organised by Alberto Cairo at the University of Miami. I know. Miami. But there’s a hashtag #dhdjMiami which might be fun to keep an eye on. 

If you like Albert Cairo (and you should, his books are great and his twitter feed is a masterclass in great links and data-driven trolling) then this roundup might be worth a look. Each month  he rounds up interesting ideas, examples and trends in data viz in a video. (with a journalism slant). Loads of great insight and examples.