Data visualization & The Guardian: Reporting big stories through small details

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In an era of “show, don’t just tell,” data visualization in journalism has become an increasingly important component of news reporting.

Alastair Dant, interactive lead at The Guardian in London, joined Hacks/Hackers NYC on Sept. 19 for a presentation on his team’s work in reporting stories with big datasets.

Jeremy Caplan, Education Director at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, compiled notes from Alistair’s talk.

The Guardian first explored aggregate analysis and data visualization last year with an award-winning graphic that replays World Cup games, condensing 90 minutes of tweets into 90 seconds of interactive animation. By juxtaposing match events with surges in word popularity, viewers can relive the ripples of human reaction passing through Twitter.

Asked to apply similar techniques to Rupert Murdoch’s News International saga, The Guardian partnered with Datasift to capture and display public responses during key events in the story.

Alastair’s talk steps through the process of recording, processing and displaying a large volume of tweets which enabled a small team to build complex pieces of interactive content at newsroom speeds. It also shows the delicate balance of design, data and storytelling at the heart of interactive news content.

And finally, if you’re looking for a news developer job — or if you’re hiring news developers — check out this list.

Categories: Meetups, News
Tags: nyc, The Guardian