Spotlight on data journalism

Making our data journalism stand out on social media

Here’s some we prepared earlier

The stories produced by The Economist’s data team attract a lot of readers. Some of the team’s most popular pieces include our own glass ceiling index and a daily chart about the most dangerous cities in the world. It didn’t come as a surprise that, when we asked our readers what content they wanted to see more of, they said data journalism. So we decided to take two main steps to meet this demand. Continue reading “Spotlight on data journalism”

Creating an app: “What, like it’s hard?”

Let’s just say it’s not as easy as the bend and snap.

Anyone who knows me knows that app development has never really been “my thing.” I (sadly) enjoy talking about the Kardashian-Jenner clan, and I love fashion and binge-watching rom-com movies such as “Legally Blonde.” Just as most people don’t wake up one morning and think, I think I’ll go to law school today, as Prof. Callahan speculated about “Legally Blonde” heroine Elle Woods, I am not the type who just wakes up one morning and thinks, I really want to learn how to make an app! Yet, being the the stereotype-defiers that Elle and I are, both of us decided to give new ventures a try — even if others may scoff. Continue reading “Creating an app: “What, like it’s hard?””

Facebook has hurt mainstream media more than fake news sites

Five things we learned when Facebook’s Explore Feed destroyed our organic reach.

Two months ago, Facebook launched major “reach-killing” test here in Slovakia and in five other countries. It removed all Page posts from the News Feed and relocated them to a separate new Explore Feed. That means Facebook’s main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers — you can find here just posts from friends and sponsored posts. Continue reading “Facebook has hurt mainstream media more than fake news sites”

Five innovative audio implementations in the news industry

Did you hear the news? Five innovative ways of implementing audio in newsrooms

The second half of 2017 has been saturated with talk about news organisations investing significantly in video. In all that talk and speculation, I noticed an important topic being overlooked: audio. Here, I’ve looked into some recent experiments in digital audio news and podcasting I was curious to learn more about. Continue reading “Five innovative audio implementations in the news industry”

Can Facebook Messenger help you build a deeper relationship with your audience?

Maybe, but it’s a lot of work. Here’s what Annenberg Media tried.

Chatbots seem to be popping up everywhere. You can find them on chat apps, on your SMS platform or in apps of their own. If you’ve used Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, you’ve used a chatbot.

Many news organization use chatbots to deliver the news, but few use it to have a conversation. The options for what a user can do beyond asking for the organizations’ top stories tends to be fairly limited.

Continue reading “Can Facebook Messenger help you build a deeper relationship with your audience?”

Mapping now an essential tool in journalism

Mapping platforms like ARC online and Carto are good and useful reporting tools for analysis for journalists

Picture: WITS VUVUZELA

By Franco Havenga, Khuselwa Anda Tembani and Wesley Ford

The use of mapping platforms can take your story to a whole new level says data editor at The Investigative Reporting Workshop Jennifer LaFleur.

At the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, LaFleur led a session on creating maps from data, a technique called mapping which can improve the quality of investigative stories. She was assisted by Andy Lehren, an investigative reporter at NBC and the New York Times.

“This workshop is really … just to show them [journalists]the power of it so that they can learn more later, said LaFleur. “Mapping is a very good reporting tool for analysis.” Continue reading “Mapping now an essential tool in journalism”

A Tough Message for News Organisations: Change or Become Irrelevant

It is currently one of the most pressing questions in journalism: how can legacy media successfully master the digital environment and flourish in a world dominated by the Internet and social media?

So great is the interest and the demand for answers that the Web is filled with think-pieces, best practice guidelines and conference talks on the topic yet, until recently, there has been little empirical research available.

A new report by Lucy Kueng, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and professor of strategy and innovation in media organisations, tries to address this gap. Continue reading “A Tough Message for News Organisations: Change or Become Irrelevant”

Why Economist readers still write letters to the editor

From brief witticisms to weighty responses, our readers always have something to say

Image: Bodil Beckman / Nationalmuseum Stockholm

The Economist’s letters page has a long pedigree, stretching back to the first issues in the mid-19th century. We recently trawled through the archive to put a collection of letters together for the “heritage wall” in our new offices and came across correspondence from a host of illustrious names. A few weeks after Britain declared war on Germany in 1914, John Maynard Keynes wrote in the August 29th issue that the position of the British banks was “perfectly sound, and that nothing but a little courage and public spirit is required for them to carry on much as usual”. Milton Friedman took us to task in January 1953 for our “plan for an Atlantic Payments Union…if indeed your vague suggestions deserve to be called a plan”.

Continue reading “Why Economist readers still write letters to the editor”

PressCoin is a cryptocurrency for investigative journalists and their readers

A coalition of news organizations and journalists in various parts of the world have banded together to create a cryptocurrency to sustain funding for investigative journalism. Called PressCoin, the digital currency was made to get rid of the advertising revenue model, decentralize funding sources, and upend corporate media monopolies with collaborative content made to strengthen civic participation around the world. A 28-day initial coin offering (ICO) is scheduled to begin November 22, with one PressCoin for sale at the value of $1.

“If PressCoin succeeds, I’m going to delete my Patreon account. Kind of a different ball game,” Nafeez Ahmed told VentureBeat in a Skype interview. Continue reading “PressCoin is a cryptocurrency for investigative journalists and their readers”

Building trust online by partnering with the International Fact Checking Network

With so much information available around the clock and across devices, the ability to quickly understand what’s true and what’s false online is increasingly important. That’s why a year ago, we introduced a new feature called the Fact Check tag, as a way to show people when a news publisher or fact check organization has verified or debunked a claim, statistic or statement.

Continue reading “Building trust online by partnering with the International Fact Checking Network”

Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen

Facebook is testing radically different Explore Feed in six countries than in the rest of the world.

Facebook Explore Feed is rolling out globally this week. Most people around the world can see it in their bookmarks and they can discover new content here. But in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia it works differently: all posts by pages are moved from newsfeed to Explore Feed. In main newsfeed are now just friend and sponsored posts. Yes, you log into Facebook and you can see only posts from your friends and ads. You have to click on Explore Feed to see posts from pages you follow.

Continue reading “Biggest drop in Facebook organic reach we have ever seen”

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