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GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Lying Charts, Flu Tracker, Soaring Alcohol Costs, Taxing Football

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from February 25 to March 3 finds a @nytimes profile of its much admired data editor @amandacox; a flu tracker by @morgenpost; and a double dose of skepticism in @amandabee‘s roundup of bad data interpretations and @albertocairo‘s “How Charts Lie” book.

Meet Amanda Cox

In 2004, The New York Times graphics department asked internship candidates to critique charts it had published. Amanda Cox went the extra mile and redesigned all the test charts, which got her the internship. Fifteen years later, she is now the newspaper’s data editor. Times Insider wrote a nice profile story of her journey and work at The New York Times.

Flu Tracker

Berliner Morgenpost is keeping track of the flu cases reported in Germany and comparing it to past years since 2008. To date, the current flu season, which started in October 2018, has recorded at least 84,587 cases.

Doubt Your Data

Something to consider: Even N/A is data. Amanda Hickman rounded up story examples that illustrate the most common problems with relying on data, ranging from inconsistent data entry to cherry picking data.

Book: How Charts Lie

The upcoming “How Charts Lie” book by data viz expert Alberto Cairo is now available for pre-order. While visualizations can better inform us, Cairo’s book explores how they can also mislead us with poor design or incomplete and inaccurate data. He attempts to help readers better decode visual information by examining contemporary examples.

Taxing Football

BBC News takes a closer look at corporation taxes paid by football clubs in the Premier League and the English Football League using public data, and examines whether football clubs should be treated differently from other businesses in terms of taxation.

Inflationary Alcohol

In the past eight years, alcoholic beverage prices in Turkey have increased at a much faster rate compared to the increase in salaries. Dokuz8Haber tracked and charted the increase against a teacher’s purchasing power. (In Turkish.)

Bloomberg’s Big Data Team

From an initial team of six in 2012, Bloomberg’s data journalism team has now grown to 30 individuals spread across four cities and three continents. Its graphics and visual data executive editor Martin Keohan offers insight into the work they’ve produced.

Google Fellowships (Europe)

The European Journalism Centre is offering 40 summer fellowship placements to journalism, technology or design students in news organizations in 11 countries across Europe. The fellowships are funded by the Google News Initiative.

Crowdsourcing Air Pollution Data

The results of Norddeutscher Rundfunk’s air pollution measurement campaign in the north of Germany are in. Using crowdsourced data collected last November, it created an interactive map where readers can search for the levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in their area. The highest level of pollution was recorded in Hamburg, while the lowest was in Tönning. (In German.)

When to Use a Table?

Stuck on a data problem? Crowdsource some answers on Twitter! Here’s an example of Katherine Riley, a data journalist at Flourish, searching for answers from the data visualization community online.

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

Eunice Au is GIJN’s program coordinator. Previously, she was a Malaysia correspondent for Singapore’s The Straits Times, and a journalist at the New Straits Times. She has also written for The Sun, Malaysian Today and Madam Chair.


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

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