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GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Rio’s Militias, OCCRP’s Database and Brexit’s Brits

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from April 2 to 8 finds an alarming piece by @iamdylancurran on how much data Facebook and Google have actually gleaned from us, @OCCRP‘s powerful database of public records and leaks, @davidottewell‘s take on the evolution of data journalism, and an investigation by @TheInterceptBr into the militias in Rio de Janeiro.

Personal Data Harvest

Want to freak yourself out? Data consultant and web developer Dylan Curran shows us just how much of our information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realizing it.


As OCCRP’s co-founder Drew Sullivan boasted on Twitter, is “the preferred tool for goddam steely eyed journo men and women everywhere.” The database has recently been updated with powerful search functions that can crawl through 104 million public records and leaks from 179 sources to help you find relevant connections for your investigation.

The Evolution of Data Journalism

The founder and head of the Trinity Mirror Data Unit talks about how data journalism isn’t just about innovation anymore but about delivery: “Innovation is getting data journalism on a front-page. Delivery is getting it on the front page day after day. Innovation is building a snazzy interactive that allows readers to explore and understand an important issue. Delivery is doing that, and getting large numbers of people to actually use it; then building another one the next day, and another the day after that.”

The Problem with Militias in Brazil

An investigation by The Intercept Brasil reveals that militias in Rio de Janeiro, made up of off-duty law enforcement officers, pose a far bigger problem than drug trafficking gangs.

Brexit Britain: A Confused Electorate

A year before Britain is supposed to formally break away from its nearest neighbors in continental Europe, Bloomberg asked voters what they now think about the split. Their finding: “divisions have only hardened…”

Why Science Can’t Ignore Data Journalism

Freelance journalist Frank Odenthal writes that communicating the findings of scientific research based on this era’s new and big sets of data is a challenge for today’s scientists and journalists alike.

What Bill Gates is Reading: Factfulness

The book Factfulness by the late statistician Hans Rosling and his children, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund, is now available. Bill Gates highly recommends it.

Data-Driven Storytelling Book

A new book about data visualization and data-driven storytelling, edited by Nathalie Henry Riche, Christophe Hurter, Nicholas Diakopoulos and Sheelagh Carpendale, is about to hit bookshelves. The book covers topics like data-driven storytelling techniques, communicating data to an audience and evaluating data-driven stories and storytelling tools.

Happy Open Data Day, Mexico!

Here’s a roundup of how Mexico celebrated Open Data Day, with a list of data projects discussed and links to useful data resources.

Computational Journalism Conference

The 2nd European Data and Computational Journalism Conference, to be held in Cardiff, Wales, from June 20 to 21, will bring together practitioners in the fields of journalism and news production and information, data, social and computer sciences, facilitating multidisciplinary discussions on these topics in order to advance research and practice.

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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