6: Journalism (Part 1-3)


Part 1: What is Data Journalism?

  • Utilises the power of data
  • Use of data sets to tell a story
  • You can use interaction as a mode of display
  • Recognising the power of measurements in helping conversation
  • Journalism that is visually displayed to aid the audience to understand data sets
The Royal Wedding: In Numbers (The Guardian, n.a.)

Part 2: History of Data Journalism at the Guardian

  • Evolution of Data Journalism
  • Relies on technology of the moment
  • Try to present data in interesting ways and bring it alive to readers

Re. Manchester guardian 1901:

  • How could things improve/ get better?
  • In the early 1900s visual data was represented with type to make the printing process easier

Example 1: The Manchester guardian commercial 1938

  • Use of cross-hatching to differentiate information and separate “Teams” of data
  • Using a visual hierarchy for images and text
  • Questions are separated into sections

Example 2: 2013

  • Allows for interactive web pages to share with other users

Every Doctor Who villain since 1963 (S. Rogers, C. Norman, 2013)

Part 3: Data Journalism in Action: The London Olympics

  • Provides live results
  • Importance of relative value
    • E.g. a 3rd world country winning five gold medals is taken differently than a first world country winning five gold medals
  • Information needs to be:
    • Accurate
    • Precise
    • Logical in which data is separated
  • This allows the audience to see stories
    • E.g. Why one country is good at a particular sport
  • Overlapped between what we do and data journalist (Us of similar techniques)
  • Allows for results to be filtered and compared
Olympics: Official Rankings (The Guardian, 2013)


This was a three-part lecture from the guardian. It explores what data journalism is by using data sets to tell stories in an understandable way. By knowing how past designers presented information with the available technology and utilising their resources, we can explore how events such as the Olympics present their data and ensure that the information is accurate, precise and logically separated. It is essential that information is accurate as some things rely on smaller detail such as currency, weather and wealth.

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