Seven things I learned about data visualisation (Guardian Masterclass)

guardianThe Guardian datablog is an international reference when it comes to data journalism, so I jumped at the chance to spend a day with the former head of data visualisation (Adam Frost) and head of creative (Tobias Sturt) from the Guardian’s Digital Agency at a workshop on 22 November. Adam and Tobias now both work for Graphic, a digital agency that specialises in data visualisation and infographics. Continue reading

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Looking for data journalists – European Week of Regions and Cities

EU Cohesion Policy open dataThe European Week of Regions and Cities will again bring together some 6000 regional representatives and experts in Brussels from 6-9 October.

We’ll be hosting a couple of hundred journalists from across the EU at the event, which includes a specially designed media programme. Given the strong focus on the use of statistics to report about European regions and EU Cohesion Policy, we will be extending a special invitation this year to a limited number of data journalists.

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Data journalism and the European elections

European election results chart

I’m following a Mass Open Online Course (MOOC) on data journalism organized by the European Journalism Centre at the moment. This week’s assignment required students to find four examples of data journalism and to say briefly:

  1. What does each story do?
  2. How was it created?
  3. How is it illustrated?
  4. What technologies were used to create the stories?

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SloganEUizer – crowdsourced database of #EP2014 slogans

Have you spotted any interesting slogans, posters or hashtags relating to the forthcoming European elections.  Dana Manescu has created a really useful database to gather examples from all over Europe showing the words and images that candidates, parties and other actors are using in the context of the elections. Contributors have already added over 200 entries to the SloganEUizer database!

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Spain tops European elections online debate

Following on from my previous post, here are the latest trends in the online debate about the forthcoming European elections (based on statistics collected during the last week).

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How diverse is the online conversation about the European elections?

The online conversation about the European elections provides some fascinating insights into the issues at stake, the electoral process and the positions of the protagonists from the different sides of the debate.

But if we step back a bit from the specifics of the election campaign, what can these online exchanges tell us more generally about the state of digital engagement with the EU and the Europe’s evolving “digital public sphere”?

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Can we measure social media’s impact on the European elections?

With three months still to go, people are already talking about the European elections on social media.  But will social media actually make a difference?  And, perhaps more importantly, can we get beyond speculation and measure the impact of social media on the 2014 European elections?

In this post, I’m going to take a brief look at three areas where I think social media could potentially have a quantifiable impact.

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Will 2014 be Europe’s Twitter election?

Obama four more years image from Twitter

Twitter was a major feature of the 2012 US Presidential elections, with a combined 14 million tweets during the Democratic and Republican Party Conventions and over 10 million tweets during the TV debate between the candidates in October 2012.

No less than three of the Brookings Institute’s Ten Communication Lessons from the 2012 Presidential Election relate to the game-changing impact of Twitter, including the democratization of political debate and commentary.  Pollster Stephen Mills commented in the Guardian during the campaign that “tweeters, not bloggers or pundits, will decide debate winners as politics shifts from a 24-hour news cycle to a 140-character one”.

So, will Twitter play a similar role during the 2014 European elections?

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Mapping the EU digital public sphere(s)

As I have tried to argue in previous posts on this blog, digital media are enabling the emergence of an online public sphere (or spheres) where issues related to the EU are debated across national and linguistic borders.

But how can we make sense of the tangled mass of conversations that are taking place on different platforms?  I think that social network analysis is one technique that can offer some potentially interesting insights.

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Lessons in storytelling from Jung Chang

Jung ChangBestselling international author, Jung Chang, was the closing keynote speaker at a conference I helped to organize in Brussels on 9-10 December 2013.  Entitled “Telling the Story”, the event was a gathering of around 800 European communication professionals.

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