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Data Journalism’s Top Ten

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from August 21 to 27 has useful digital forensics tools from @bellingcat, mathematician Cathy O’Neil warning us about blind faith in big data and an analysis of Delhi’s insane dowry demands by @htTweets.

The Era of Blind Faith in Big Data Must End

Cathy O’Neil stresses in this illuminating Ted Talk that algorithms don’t make things fair if you just blithely, blindly apply them. “Algorithms repeat our past practices, our patterns. They automate the status quo.”

Digital Forensics Tool

Bellingcat compiled a useful list of open source verification and investigation tools and methods. It includes platforms and tools for mapping, geobased searches, images/metadata and archiving.

Delhi’s Dowry Dilemma

Hindustan Times analyzed 1,331 dowry cases registered in Delhi during the first half of 2017. It found that women were allegedly being harassed for almost everything from cash, cars, motorcycles, LED TVs to property and — in one case — a kidney. Also, Honda City was the most sought after car in Delhi weddings.

Words Emmanuel Macron No Longer Speaks

Paris Match analyzed speeches by Emmanuel Macron and found that Macron has totally abandoned some words since being elected as president. Words such as “zero tolerance” (tolérance zéro) and “criminal” (pénale) have disappeared from his speeches.

From Journalist to Data Analyst

Ross Gordon, a Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism graduate, had a turning point in his career pursuit when he realised he was more interested in learning about what he was reporting on than actually reporting the story itself.

Crafting Data Stories Online Course

The Knight Center is presenting a six-week Big Online Course (BOC) on “Crafting Data Stories: A Hands-on, Step-by-step Workshop Building Real Data Narratives,” taught by data scientist Heather Krause. The course will run from September 18 to October 29 and students will learn how to build a data story from scratch using analysis and narrative techniques.


YourDataStories (YDS) is a platform that helps make sense of open and social data. It collects pertinent data from a variety of sources and, where useful, across borders. You can explore and pick elements that stick out, visualize them, develop an explanation and publish directly on the YDS platform.

One Dot, One Candidate

Berliner Morgenpost visualized 2,559 candidates of the 2017 German polls using cosine similarity and multidimensional scaling. The data visualization informs readers of the candidates’ profession, origin and political proximity.

Where Scientists Meet Data Journalists

The SciCAR conference, where science meets computer assisted reporting, will be held in Dortmund from September 6 to 8. There will be workshops on R, Carto, scraping data, GIS and SQL. Sessions in English have been added to the schedule and major sessions will be translated.

When to Use Stacked Graphs

Data visualization expert Alberto Cairo writes on his blog: “Stacked graphs show both the total and its components, but they emphasize the former, not the latter. When the total is more relevant than the parts, a stacked graph may be an appropriate choice.”

Thanks, once again, to Marc Smith of Connected Action for gathering the links and graphing them.

For a look at Marc Smith’s mapping on #ddj on Twitter, check out this map.

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