High vaccination rates in some parts of the world are helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 and allowing communities to resume normal life. But vaccinations can also give a false sense of security as new variants of the coronavirus threaten to prolong the pandemic. Our NodeXL mapping from June 28 to July 4, which tracks the most popular data journalism stories on Twitter each week, found Portuguese newspaper Público creating a tool to help readers find out what activities they can do after getting the vaccine at minimal risk. We also take a look at a piece examining forest fires in Mexico, an analysis of the worst cyberattacks by Bloomberg, a data-driven essay on same-gender lyrics by The Pudding, and New York’s great hot dog eating contest.
Man Bites Dog
How many hot dogs can a person eat in 10 minutes? For Joey Chestnut, the number is 76. On Sunday, the American competitive eater broke his own record to win The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island in New York. The contest, televised by sports channel ESPN, has a long and curious history, which Reuters Graphics told with this visual data-driven project.
— Reuters Graphics (@ReutersGraphics) July 4, 2021
Opening Up in Portugal
In Portugal, more than half of the population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. But amid uncertainty about how far existing vaccines protect against new variants of the virus, some activities, such as large gatherings in closed spaces, still pose a far greater risk than others — including going to the beach. Portuguese newspaper Público created a tool to help readers assess what they can do safely if they have been vaccinated or previously had COVID-19, while acknowledging that a gradual return to normality “does not mean that the virus has disappeared from our lives.”
Interactivo: o que posso fazer em segurança no meu concelho? Há actividades e zonas do país que representam maior risco do que outras. Quão perigoso pode ser fazer uma daquelas coisas que a pandemia nos roubou? Veja aqui 👇 #COVID19PT https://t.co/e0d2q0qk4V
— Público (@Publico) June 30, 2021
More than 85,000 forest fires have destroyed 4.6 million hectares of territory in Mexico over the last ten years. Based on data from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources and the National Forestry Commission, this project by data journalist Hassel Fallas shows the size of the problem and the economic consequences. Fallas notes that only one in 100 fires occurred naturally, highlighting the high cost of human negligence.
🚨🔥In the last decade, Mexico has had more than 85,000 forest fires that have devoured 4.6 million hectares of territory. Only 1 in 100 conflagrations were caused by nature itself
— Hassel Fallas (@HasselFallas) June 30, 2021
Hottest Places on Earth
The summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere and several countries saw some exceptionally hot days in June. Al Jazeera mapped the hottest places on the planet. One of them, Lytton, a small town near Vancouver, hit 49.6 degrees C (121 degrees F), breaking the Canadian record for the highest temperature ever. But so far this year, no place on Earth has been hotter than the Kuwaiti city of Nuwaiseeb, where temperatures reached 53.2 C (127.7 F).
From 49.6C (121F) in 🇨🇦Canada to 53.2C (127.7F) in 🇰🇼Kuwait, @AJEnglish looks at where the hottest places are on Earth.
— Mohammed Haddad (@haddadme) July 1, 2021
Miami’s Building Collapse, Floor by Floor
The investigation into the collapse of a 12-story condominium tower in Miami, Florida has revealed new details about the devastating accident. The New York Times published a visual piece looking at what happened on each floor of the building, with information about the residents of each apartment and profiles of the victims and the missing.
Every detail about those missing or confirmed dead in the building collapse near Miami has been absolutely devastating. Here's a floor-by-floor look at what we know: https://t.co/ncXHKQbveh
— Lauren Leatherby (@LaurenLeatherby) June 30, 2021
Hackers and Ransomware
Cyberattacks used to be all about breaking into computer networks to steal intellectual property, credit card details, Social Security numbers, and other valuable information. Not anymore. Hackers are increasingly using ransomware to earn money by targeting large businesses, government institutions, universities, hospitals, and other organizations. Bloomberg analyzed data on some of the worst cyberattacks since 2005 in each industry.
— Bloomberg Graphics (@BBGVisualData) June 29, 2021
The Empires of Jeff Bezos
On Monday, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos officially stepped down as the company’s chief executive to become executive chairman and focus on space exploration, philanthropy, and other projects. Over the past 27 years, Bezos has transformed Amazon into one of the world’s most influential companies. The Wall Street Journal published a series of graphics to illustrate the size and power of the Amazon empire.
As Jeff Bezos steps aside as Amazon's CEO, the company is expanding faster than ever. Here's a look at the personal and professional empires he created. https://t.co/GHBWpGdtj5
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 4, 2021
In the United States, your income often determines whether you live surrounded by trees or by concrete, and this piece by The New York Times shows the striking difference between the environment in which rich and poor communities live across the country. According to data from American Forests, a conservation organization, rich Americans enjoy almost 50% more greenery compared with lower-income communities and, as the article notes, trees are key in preventing heat-related deaths.
Rich Americans enjoy almost 50% more greenery in their areas than low-income ones. These images show the depth of the contrast. https://t.co/5zICudbI18
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 30, 2021
“I Kissed A Girl”
In 2008, the American singer Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” became an international hit and rose to the top of the charts. For many listeners, it was the first time they had heard a woman openly singing about being with another woman. Since then, there have been many popular songs with same-gender lyrics. The Pudding took a closer look at them in this colorful — and musical — data-driven essay.
— The Pudding (@puddingviz) June 29, 2021
To report on data, first you need to understand it. Although international coverage of the global pandemic has elevated data journalism to another level, it also demonstrated that reading the numbers can be a difficult skill to master. In this piece, Poynter’s Al Tompkins examines reporting on vaccinations, unemployment, and climate change, with some advice for journalists working with data.
Great example of how you need to be careful when reporting on breakthrough infections, and how saying alarmist things like "50% of new cases are among the vaccinated!" is dangerous and wrong. Context is everything.https://t.co/6bxshsoEXJ pic.twitter.com/NVxKNDj0Ih
— Roberto Rocha (@robroc) June 29, 2021
Peter Georgiev is GIJN’s social media and engagement editor. Previously, he was part of NBC News’ investigative unit in New York. He also worked as a correspondent for Bulgarian National Television and his reporting has been published by the Guardian, Deutsche Welle, and other international outlets.