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GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Mapping Coronavirus, Saving the Nile, Protests in Hungary, Annotating Visualizations

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 20 to 26 finds the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering mapping the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Al Jazeera analyzing the impact that Ethiopia’s mega-dam project will have on the Nile river and its surroundings, Der Tagesspiegel outlining the changes in America over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency, and Alberto Cairo highlighting the importance of annotating data visualizations.

Wuhan Coronavirus

The World Health Organization was informed of an outbreak of “pneumonia of unknown cause” detected in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province on December 31, 2019. The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering is tracking the spread of that outbreak, now known as the 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or the Wuhan coronavirus, in real-time. It mapped the cases and locations in this online dashboard. Read more about the project here.

Saving the Nile

A mega-dam has triggered a major dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia over access to water resources from the Nile, the oldest and longest river on the planet. Al Jazeera analyzed five scenarios currently being negotiated between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, and provide a look at the potential consequences to the region.

Trump Analyzed in 15 Graphs

US President Donald Trump has been in office for three years. Der Tagesspiegel digs into what has changed in America during his presidency and analyzes his chances for re-election in November this year.

How to Annotate a Visualization

Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism, blogs about the importance of annotations in visualizations by highlighting a good example from the Financial Times. He says: “Explanatory visualizations shouldn’t consist of visualizing data alone, but also of adding words to put the data in context, highlight the most relevant facts, or dispel possible misinterpretations.”

Analyzing Public Protests in Hungary

Over the past year, there has been an increase in reports of protests in Hungary, including rallies for workers’ rights and education. Atlatszo’s data team analyzed the number and type of demonstrations in the country, as well as crowd size, between November 2015 and October 2019.

American Media Diet Affects Views on Ukraine

According to an analysis of data from Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project, the news diets of Democrats and Republicans are tied to their perceptions of President Trump’s behavior and motives in withholding military aid to Ukraine. The data is available here. More analysis on the country’s media polarization here.

Advocacy with Data on Your Side

Eva Belmonte, director of Spanish nonprofit newsroom Civio, offers her views on the line separating journalism from advocacy. She says: “Activism cannot be what starts or moves the wheels of an investigation. It cannot set the agenda. You can be an activist after publishing, but not during an investigation and you may not treat activists differently from other sources, despite the temptation.”

Unreliable Buses

Inspired by this SWR3 story on the punctuality of public transport in Frankfurt, data journalist Haluka Maier-Borst took a look at Flixbuses that depart from Berlin. He found that 60% of them arrive at their destinations late, performing worse than trains.

Missed Scholarship Opportunities in El Salvador

More than 50 countries offered scholarships to El Salvador in the last five years, but only half of those scholarships were awarded. The loss of the other half was due to various reasons, including candidates’ lack of fluency in a second or third language. analyzed the issue.

Data Workshop for 5 Southeast Asian Countries

CrowdTangle is hosting a three-day data bootcamp designed to help newsrooms integrate data analytics in their editorial operations. The program is open to newsrooms based in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Thanks again to Marc Smith of Connected Action for gathering the links and graphing them. The Top Ten #ddj list is curated weekly.

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 NodeXL’s mapping on #ddj and data journalism on Twitter, check out this map.

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