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2020-04-29 | J++ Newsletter #92

Quarantine reading list


This week's newsletter opens with a few more or less DDJ-related books, old and new, that you might enjoy. Do let us know if you have any favorite books we should list in our next newsletter!

Verification Handbook ‒ For Disinformation And Media Manipulation (2020)  The latest Verification Handbook from the European Journalism Centre is out, edited by Craig Silverman and Claire Wardle. The timing could hardly have been better, and it is available online for free.

Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias In A World Designed For Men, Caroline Criado Perez (2019)  Invisible Women addresses a world “designed for men”. It’s a clever and very accessible run-through of how the data gender gap affects everything in our lives, from car safety to medical trials and – especially timely right now – PPE designed for a male body. 

How To, Randall Munroe (2019)  There is a surprising amount of things a data journalist can learn from Randall Munroes absurd solutions to everyday problems, both in terms of method, and (not least) when it comes to sideways thinking. And you'll laugh.

Introduction to Probability, Joseph K. Blitzsein och Jessica Hwang (2015)  It is what it says on the box: An introduction to probability, and it covers a lot of things in statistical science that you want to know as a data journalist. Available for free as pdf.

Signal: Understanding What Matters in a World of Noise (2015)  A great introduction to data analysis. While not targeted at journalists, the main topic of finding out what really matters in your data, and the methods introduced are highly relevant.

 

Events and resources


For geodata nerds, the ESRI user conference will be held online this year, which is not all bad news for those of us who do not live nearby, I guess:
https://www.esri.com/en-us/about/events/uc/overview

Do you want to move on from Excel to doing data analysis in Pandas, but find the leap to long? Python Grid Studio might help you bridge the gap. Here's a nice introduction using covid-19 data, by data scienctist Christopher Tao.
https://towardsdatascience.com/say-goodbye-to-excel-a-simple-evaluation-of-python-grid-studio-using-covid-19-data-90624f322b81

The IRE are opening their archive of online data training videos (and adding new ones) for one year, on the NICAR-Learn platform:
https://learn.ire.org/

A lot of newsrooms are slowly moving from monitoring the corona outbreak per se, to monitoring e.g. government responses to the crisis. The COVID-19 policy tracker repository on Github is a great collection of relevant datasets, trackers and collections:
https://lukaslehner.github.io/covid19policytrackers/

 

In other news


Swedish police goes data journalism
This story is weird, not so much because of the content – but because of who is behind it. The Swedish police is reporting that every single parking ticket filed in the last 10 years in Helsingborg, a medium sized city in the south of Sweden, has lacked proper legal basis. The numbers are staggering: 350,000 illegal parking tickets to a value of ~€20 million. More here (in Swedish).
https://www.svt.se/nyheter/konsument/polisen-355-000-p-boter-i-helsingborg-saknar-lagligt-stod 
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