Projects submitted to the Data Journalism Awards competition

Right here you will find a list of all the projects submitted to the Data Journalism Awards competition.  

The Data Team
Country: United Kingdom
Organisation: The Times & The Sunday Times
Best data journalism team
Health & Science
Team Members
The Data Team is Tom Wills (Data Journalism Editor), Krystina Shveda (Data Journalist), Leila Haddou (Data Journalist) and Louis Goddard (Data Journalist). 1. Oxfam scandal Sean O’Neill (Chief Reporter, The Times) Leila Haddou (Data Team) Bruno Waterfield (Brussels Correspondent, The Times) 2. Doping in skiing George Arbuthnott (Deputy Insight Editor, The Sunday Times) Jonathan Calvert (Insight Editor, The Sunday Times) Tom Wills (Data Team) Louis Goddard (Data Team) 3. Unsolved crime Tom Harper (Home Affairs Correspondent, The Sunday Times) Leila Haddou (Data Team) 4. Waiting times Kat Lay (Health Correspondent, The Times) Tom Wills (Data Team) 5. Trump tweets Sam Joiner (Interactive Editor, The Times) Louis Goddard (Data Team) 6. Micro-homes Jon Ungoed-Thomas (Chief Reporter, The Sunday Times) Tom Wills (Data Team) George Turner (The Sunday Times) 7. Parliament\'s gender gap Rosamund Urwin (Financial Services Correspondent, The Sunday Times) Tom Wills (Data Team) 8. Corporate lobbying Alex Ralph (Business Correspondent, The Times) Harry Wilson (City Editor, The Times) Tom Wills (Data Team) Ryan Watts (Data Team) Kira Schacht (Data Team) 9. Stormont shutdown Sean O’Neill (Chief Reporter, The Times) Leila Haddou (Data Team) 10. Top 40 over time Matthew Moore (Media Correspondent, The Times) Ciaran Fitzpatrick (Data Team) Tom Wills (Data Team)
Project Description
The Data Team is a unit of programmer-journalists embedded in the newsrooms of The Times and The Sunday Times, the UK’s newspapers of record. We work with colleagues across all subjects to deliver groundbreaking data-driven exclusives. Every story must meet exacting editorial standards in order to make it into the print and digital editions of these daily titles. Data journalism should not leave the reader asking ‘so what?’. The work of the Data Team is to combine rigorous analysis with insight and context, in order to deliver news that matters to our sophisticated audience. 1. Oxfam scandal (10 Feb 2018, 15 Feb 2018) The Times\' investigation into the conduct of Oxfam staff in Haiti reverberated around the world. The Data Team was centrally involved in the research for two of the articles that made up the series. 2. Doping in skiing (4 Feb 2018) Following on from its revelations of widespread doping in athletics, The Sunday Times was given data from a new whistleblower, this time relating to the world of winter sports. The Data Team analysed skiers\' blood test results to reveal the extent of cheating. 3. Unsolved crime (22 Oct 2017) Why does crime go unsolved? The Data Team analysed open data from the British government and discovered a startling trend: police were increasingly blaming the victims for the failure of their investigations. 4. Waiting times (2 Aug 2017) Britain\'s National Health Service is increasingly fragmented, with patients under different regional health boards receiving different treatment. The Data Team performed a geospatial analysis that brought the problem home. 5. Trump tweets (20 Jan 2018) A year on from his inauguration, how to make sense of Donald Trump\'s Twitter account? The Data Team mined 25,000 tweets, using text analysis and visualisation to show how the President\'s rhetoric shifted from the pre-election period, to the campaign, to elected office. 6. Micro-homes (30 Jul 2017) More homes are being built in Britain - but they\'re shrinking. Innovative use of open data on the environmental performance of new buildings showed the rise of the \'rabbit hutch flats\' phenomenon. 7. Parliament\'s gender gap (4 Mar 2018) The gender pay gap is a hot topic, and politicians from all parties in the UK are weighing in. The Data Team scraped the register of parliamentarians\' interests to see whether they had their own house in order. 8. Corporate lobbying (15 Apr 2017) Many FTSE 100 companies say they do not spend money for political ends. The Data Team analysed the EU lobbying register, along with parliamentary records, to find the truth. 9. Stormont shutdown (2 Mar 2018) The parliament of Northern Ireland has been on hiatus for a year, after a power-sharing agreement between Republican and Unionist parties broke down. But the assembly members managed to put their differences aside for 46 minutes in order to claim their salaries. The Data Team scrutinised official records to show how politicians have been racking up bills while doing nothing. 10. Top 40 over time (9 Oct 2017) Not that song again! The Data Team looked back at 60 years of music charts and found today\'s hits stick around for longer than ever before.
What makes this project innovative?
1. Oxfam scandal At the core of the Oxfam story is 11 months of old-fashioned reporting graft. But a partnership between the Data Team and the Times\' Chief Reporter saw data-driven OSINT techniques used to track down the charity worker at the centre of the scandal. 2. Doping in skiing In the past, journalists used leaked documents, photographs and recordings to expose wrongdoing. They don\'t teach how to analyse leaked blood values in journalism school, so the Data Team and Insight worked with experts to develop a methodology for interpreting the numbers. 3. Unsolved crime Most news reports on crime statistics focus on the headline numbers: violent offences up or down, etc. The Data Team took a deep dive into the data and found the story that everyone else had missed. 4. Waiting times Waiting times for medical treatment are a familiar topic. But the Data Team used a novel geospatial analysis, allowing reporters to home in on areas illustrating the regional divide. The result is a brilliant example of data enriching traditional reporting. 5. Trump tweets The commander-in-chief\'s Twitter account is rarely out of the news. It\'s hard to keep up with yesterday, let alone the last year. But this story combined data visualisation with commentary to give a sense of the totality of Trump\'s tweets. 6. Micro-homes EU law requires environmental performance data to be published for all homes for sale or rent. These include floor area, which the Data Team used for the first time to shed light on Britain\'s housing crisis. 7. Parliament\'s gender gap The Sunday Times had investigated MPs\' second jobs before, but never considered gender. The Data Team showed how Tory men were on the make. 8. Corporate lobbying The Data Team wrote a scraper to trawl the Parliament website, producing an exclusive dataset showing payments from corporations to groups of MPs. 9. Stormont shutdown Salaries and office costs for assembly members in Northern Ireland are usually uncontroversial. But after a year of inactivity, the open data took on a new significance. 10. Top 40 over time The numbers go back to the 1950s, but the Data Team used modern scraping and analysis for this story on cultural trends.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The Oxfam scandal was the front page lead story in The Times for several days running, as well as countless other newspapers, broadcasts and websites globally. The ski doping story was the front page lead in the Sunday Times and was followed up by dozens of international news outlets. Other projects made it into the print and digital editions of The Times and The Sunday Times, competing with dozens of other stories.
Source and methodology
For the doping in skiing story, The Sunday Times was given access to the blood test results by an anonymous source. We compared the values to normal ranges published in academic sports science literature in order to estimate the numbers of suspicious athletes. We combined this with race results scraped from the web in order to gauge the impact on athletes’ performance. For other projects, we have used a wide range of sources, from government open data, to datasets obtained by web scraping, to leaked information. Our methodologies encompass the full range of data journalism techniques, including aggregation in spreadsheets, number crunching at scale using databases, and descriptive statistics.
Technologies Used
The Data Team uses a wide variety of technologies to meet the task at hand. These include MySQL, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, R, bash scripting, Python, Open Refine and spreadsheets.