So, I’ve finished the data journalism project, first tranche. As expected, there’s not a lot of data journalism really evident in two weeks’ of national daily newspapers, but there are some interesting things.
Scarily, the only large “investigative” pieces came from the tabloids, and only one of those was not an insult to the intelligence. The Mirror did a piece based on an FOI request looking at STD infection rates in young people. Interesting idea, but the data was not really discussed properly, and the graphics were appalling. Using a condom as a graphic element is fine; trying to show changes over three years in a pie chart because you are wedded to the condom idea is not.
The other two were a horrifically dishonest Mail on Sunday story called “The Great Green Con”, which had been thoroughly discredited by the end of the day, and contains one graph without proper sourcing or readily identifiable figures:
and an “investigation” by the Sun into psychic phenomena, which turned out to be a reader poll on whether they believe in ghosts or have ever consulted a psychic, accompanied by the UGLIEST infographic ever.
So, data journalism, only practiced by charlatans and liars for the edification of fools.
Read the full paper here, if you like.