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Data journalism taster day: introduction to data journalism

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Slides from a class delivered on the MA Data Journalism taster day at Birmingham City University. It introduces:
- What data journalism is
- How journalists respond to the release of a new dataset, and different angles you might adopt in reporting
- Story structure and style in reporting news stories about data
- Things to consider about sources of data and jargon used

Find out more about the MA and PGCert in Data Journalism at https://www.bcu.ac.uk/media/courses/data-journalism-ma-2019-20
Contact: paul.bradshaw@bcu.ac.uk

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Data journalism taster day: introduction to data journalism

  1. 1. @PaulBradshaw, Birmingham City University, BBC Author: Scraping for Journalists, Finding Stories in Spreadsheets, Data Journalism Heist, Online Journalism Handbook Data journalism taster day
  2. 2. • How do you find data-driven stories? • Some basic skills to get stories out of data quickly • What to do next What I’ll cover:
  3. 3. https://leanpub.com/u/paulbradshaw https://onlinejournalismblog.com/
  4. 4. Paul Bradshaw, Data Journalism Handbook http://datajournalismhandbook.org/1.0/en/introduction_0.html
  5. 5. https://newslab.withgoogle.com/assets/docs/data-journalism-in-2017.pdf
  6. 6. Lowrey 2015; Reporters Lab 2016
  7. 7. https://twitter.com/mediavoicespod/status/800673364935262208
  8. 8. “The BBC has a plan to develop data journalism as a cornerstone of its reporting and analysis in all areas of News coverage.” BBC
  9. 9. https://policyviz.com/podcast/episode-110-ben-welsh/
  10. 10. https://onlinejournalismblog.com/2017/06/26/data-journalism-i n-broadcast-news-video/
  11. 11. https://audioboom.com/radiorhodes http://www.radiolab.org/story/shots-fired-part-1/ https://onlinejournalismblog.com/2017/07/06/data-journalism- on-radio-audio-and-podcasts/
  12. 12. Online report with video; Facebook update; tweet;
  13. 13. Where do data stories come from?
  14. 14. https://pudding.cool/2017/08/screen-direction/ https://github.com/juliasilge/women-in-film
  15. 15. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/ng-interactive/2014 /sep/11/london-fashion-week-which-colours-are-always-in-style
  16. 16. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/singer-best-vocal-range- uk-4323076
  17. 17. David Robinson
  18. 18. http://qz.com/650796/mathematicians-mapped-out-every-game-of-thrones-relationship-to-find-the-main-chara cter/
  19. 19. 1. Top of the pops/flops 2. Freak occurrence/unusual change 3. “It's not working" 4. Trend 5. Striking stat Reactive stories
  20. 20. Proactive stories 1. State of nation/Face behind figures 2. “Huge differences” 3. Claim debunked or supported 4. Things happen together 5. "Juking stats"/“No accountability”
  21. 21. New rail usage figures come out - what happens next?
  22. 22. http://orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/station-usage-estimates
  23. 23. http://orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/station-usage-estimates
  24. 24. Evening Standard; ● Headline verbs: ‘revealed’, ‘named’. Keywords. ● “New figures” - not bogged down with source detail ● Consider audience: London is the focus ● No quotes. Who could they have interviewed?
  25. 25. Telegraph ● Style: sub-heading before intro ● “Figures from the rail regulator” - no need to name yet ● Moves into reaction by par 4 ● Secondary quote: “Told the BBC”
  26. 26. * Inverted pyramid 1. New fact, according to new data/research/report 2. Context/more details: who/what; following X or leading up to Y 3. Quote of reaction - or further details. OR if NIB: skip to end 4. More context/background/reaction - alternate End: A quote, or what happens next
  27. 27. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42196835 https://github.com/BBC-Data-Unit/least-used-station
  28. 28. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-42973820 https://github.com/BBC-Data-Unit/factcheck-stations-demand
  29. 29. https://www.citymetric.com/transport/brief-tour-britain-s-least-used-stations-teesside-4156
  30. 30. • Is it OK to rely on press release without looking at data? • What is the source and why does it matter? • Who do you chase for quotes — why? Critical issues:
  31. 31. Your turn: gender pay gap figures - what do you do?
  32. 32. https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/
  33. 33. https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/
  34. 34. https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/viewing/employer-%2cd-EQDgBs_aYzIwbTF3O-UA!!/report-2017
  35. 35. https://pinboard.in/u:paulbradshaw/t:gender+dj+pay https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gender-pay-gap/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/gender-pay-gap
  36. 36. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/10/gender-pay-gap-widening-at-one-in-four-government-bodies-figures-show https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/25/gender-pay-gaps-in-academy-school-chains-among-the-worst-in-uk
  37. 37. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41805053 https://www.theguardian.com/news/ng-interactive/2018/apr/04/gender-pay-gap-when-does-your-company-stop-paying-women- in-2018
  38. 38. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/28/what-you-need-to-know-about-gender-pay-gap-reporting https://www.theguardian.com/news/video/2018/apr/06/the-truth-about-gender-pay-gap-video-explainer https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43668187
  39. 39. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-42611365 https://github.com/BBC-Data-Unit/gender-pay-gap
  40. 40. • Focus on individual data points: outliers, average, topical • Categories, sectors • Format: explainer, interactive, video, listicle, factcheck • Reaction, action, response • Data itself: concerns, campaigns • Bigger story (merge with other) • Lead you to interview > story All about angles:
  41. 41. https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/astonishing-number-people-universal-credit-15723714 Why is this so boring?
  42. 42. • Who is affected by the picture revealed by the data? • Who is an expert (and impartial)? • Who knows how the data is collected? • Who is responsible for the thing being measured? Answer the ‘why’ question: interviews
  43. 43. https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/6/4/18650969/married-women-miserable-fake-paul-dolan-happiness
  44. 44. • Against a deadline, focus on quick wins - get a quote early • Look at structure: verbs, naming, etc. • Answer the ‘why’ question • Ideas are king, not data: read widely & come up with story pitches Takeaways:

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