Lecture – Week 5

What is data journalism at The Guardian?

Journalism and reporting has changed immensely through the years and evolved to what is it today from it being very word based with a few visual images, but now the way of portraying is mainly through data as that has the power to tell a story. Data journalism can be described as a way of telling a story through information and through asking specific questions and and following the process the information can easily be understood especially with use of interactive design for example maps, and that way we can assure that what we are trying to get across can easily be understood and that it is in its simplest form. Data journalism can be seen as the identification of measurement and through techniques like statistical measurement, mining and scraping it is seen how stories can be found as well as data. There is immense amount of data every where but it is a point where there are the the tools and skills to interpret the data and portray it in a useful way and create a connection between it using a particular structure. The Guardian them selves have had many years of experience in this matter as it is proven that they are one of if not the first to start using this method.

History of Data Journalism at The Guardian

The evolution of data journalism

Many think that data journalism is actually a very new concept but it actually dates back all the way to 1821 as The Manchester Guardian created the first example of data journalism we have today. The Manchester Guardian also have examples of the earliest diagram (1901) as well as graphs (1938) which in particular are line charts and the interesting technique that was used was the use of cross hatching to differentiate the data but now we have access to colour which is a very useful tool that is commonly used. They started using graphics and pictures by 1943. In 1957 in The Observer shows more visual aspects as well as more coverage of news but by now everything had gotten more picture based rather then words. In recent time (2013) a lot more interactivity is used for example in the The Guardian data blog and they portray a very interactive digital blog that keeps the viewer engaged as before 2009 these type of technologies was not so present or commonly used.

Data journalism in action: The London Olympics

Data journalism in action: The alternative medals table

With the Olympics being a very good example we can use it to see how in the London Olympics a task was set in regards to the medals table as that is a very popular thing and the team wanted to know if a richer country wins medals should it be worth less then if a poorer country wins the same amount and that’s how it all started. An interactive graph was created and it could be updated everyday and has a section for discussion between viewers. The objective was to tell a story using numbers and you can explore the part you want amongst everything there. Instead of writing about the main countries this way all countries are included and it becomes more personal as the viewer can choose which country to look at and focus on in that engaging aspect of data journalism.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.51.39 amScreen Shot 2016-08-17 at 9.34.11 am

These are some examples of how the information from data journalism has been used to create these interactive designs from the use of their information.


The Guardian. (2013, April 8). What is data journalism at The Guardian? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBOhZn28TsE

The Guardian. (2013, April 8). History of Data Journalism at The Guardian [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIa5EoxyvZI

The Guardian. (2013, April 8). Data journalism in action: The London Olympics [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyjBJzigm0w

Data Journalism: GIJN’s Global Guide to Resources, K. Wilson [image] (2013, May 14). Retrieved August, 17 2016, from http://gijn.org/2013/05/14/data-journalism-a-resource-guide/

Damn Digital, N.A [image] (2016, August 15). Retrieved August, 17 2016, from http://www.damndigital.com/job


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