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#eijc18 data buffet

how to find stories in public data

@simonwoerpel

data journalist @correctiv_org

Stop using your computer, start with using your brain to find stories in data.

wtf?

Public data will never help you find great stories but can be a precious help if you know how to deal with it.

Because public data is like press releases.

Disclaimer

datajournalism

who is a hack?

who is a hacker?

ok what data are we talking about here

what is a story

a recent thing going on told in an understandable and entertaining way.

what is an even better story

a recent thing going on told in an understandable and entertaining way.

a story,

  • that the user didn't know before
  • that flashes the user
  • that takes the user on a journey of adventures
  • that is true

the ingredients

  • people
  • places
  • process
  • changes
  • journey
  • truth
  • ...

what datasets can provide

  • numbers

oh wait, something about data...

  • uncomplete
  • malformatet
  • outdated
  • unusable

it's even worse...

  • biased
  • filtered
  • manipulated

data is not a reliable source for anything

but what you can get out of numbers

hints for...

  • places
  • process
  • changes

what to really investigate further.

(therefore a bit of data analyzing skills can be helpful.)

2 bios of a data story

data -> topic

topic -> data

a dataset is not a story itself

it's just one of many ingredients.

it's just one of many research sources.

ok, but what should i do then

from a dataset to a story

  • find dataset
  • find maybe other datasets
  • look at the numbers
  • ask the questions the numbers raise
  • find the answers somewhere else
  • find the story ingredients
  • evolve the story

hmmyeah, i still want some practical tips

find some data

analyze the numbers

locate the...

  • average
  • maximum
  • minimum

every curve has a reason / root to investigate

analyze the numbers

  • correlations
  • maybe find more data from different sources

treat your datasets as a human source

  • ask questions
  • observe behaviour
  • understand the motivations
  • find arguments why to trust or not to trust

what are good data topics

  • what current status will shape our future?
  • data is good at describing this current status

what are good data topics

  • ecological environment
  • ownership distributions
  • trade data
  • data about natural resources
  • all about food
  • health, medicine
  • ...

the challenge

find a public dataset that you like and write a short story pitch.

the challenge

find a public dataset that you like and write a short story pitch.

the pitch:

  • headline
  • subheadline (optional)
  • 3 sentences teaser

LAST MINUTE

round table

pitch presentation / discussion

thx

@simonwoerpel

simon.woerpel@medienrevolte.de