Author: Sarah Evans

Data news editing 101: throw away the handbook

Something in the cosmos or whatever mysterious force you believe in made my newsroom experience as a first-time data news editor easier than it will be for news editors of the future. I’ve stumbled upon a team that was being built to form a data newsroom at Code for South Africa, but not all newsrooms are that lucky. Here’s what I know about running a data-driven journalism newsroom: It’s time we throw away the handbook and learn to think in new ways and across platforms. From staffing, to story-telling, to the day-to-day grind of putting a human face to...

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Wanted: A “Fit and proper” Public Protector

“Fit and proper.” From the appointment to the head of the prosecuting authority, to the Public Protector, South Africa’s legislation is dotted with these words, when describing the kind of person charged with leading key institutions. But court judgments and investigate reports are equally littered with these words, when describing why key appointees should not have got the job. The solution, experts say, is public oversight. With Parliament about to start interviewing candidates to replace Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, whose seven year term ends in October, civil society groups are urging the public to actively ensure the process is...

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You can’t Google this.

“You can’t Google this,” said Richard Gevers (@richardgevers), founder of Open Data Durban. We were a couple of weeks in at the Code for South Africa Data Journalism Academy, enjoying a well-earned glass of overpriced wine at one of those Cape Town bars where you are always under-dressed. Conversation turned to the events of the last two weeks – an intensive two week introduction to everything data journalism-related, for our first cohort of Academy residents. Spreadsheets, data wrangling, story-telling tools, visualisations, scraping, and then some. Gevers, who was in town to do a training session at the Academy, was...

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