Issue #92 | 2018-09-12
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How effective is your data visualisation? 

The Data Visualization Checklist is a collection of 24 guidelines on how graphs should be formatted to best tell their story. Want to see how your chart stacks up? You can download the visualization guidelines or upload your chart and have it scored. 

How a Chinese-language newspaper reached new readers and built a business on WeChat

When the Philadelphia-based Chinese newspaper Metro Chinese Weekly was looking to grow its digital reach it turned to WeChat. It launched an official account called PhillyGuide which today has more than 35,000 followers and more than 70 businesses registered.

Should you be selling sports-only subscriptions? 

On the back of the success of The Athletic, a number of publishers are now looking to tap into the sports-made portions of their readership. 

To succeed as entrepreneurs, journalists must get used to these 'dirty' words

Journalists today have the opportunity to create the future of the industry and to shape new business models. But to do this we're going to have to embrace some of the sides of the business that we've been avoiding until now. 

Flipboard CEO on how they handle fake news, ads, and algorithms 

Mike McCue is bullish about the future for publishers and says that while there is no absolute solution to fake news there are ways of controlling it. 

Can data science unmask the anonymous NYT opinion writer? 

Shortly after the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a White House insider, the web was teeming with people trying to work out who the author was. One of earlier attempts came to the conclusion that the author was white, older, and conservative. Naturally Twitter responded with a collective "you don't say!" In this piece Michael Kearney looks at some of the possible techniques for unmasking the writer, and some of the pitfalls. 


Tips & Tools



How much hotter is your hometown that when you were born?

One of the New York Times' latest interactive pieces looks at the real-world effects of climate change on temperatures across the US. Even though it's specifically focused on the US, so not directly relevant to those of us elsewhere in the world, it's a fascinating piece of work. 

By the numbers: Game of Thrones

Fans will be fans. This extensive series uses data to analyse every episode and season of Game of Thrones, looking at death nudity, violence and the differing roles of men and women in the series. 

Tech corner 

How we mapped 1.3m data points using Mapbox

The Financial Times mapped the UK's broadband availability and speed using 1.3 million postcode areas. Anyone who's ever tried to map more than a few thousand points knows what a challenge this could be. A deep dive into the tech and decisions behind the development of the map.

Turf.js: awesome geospatial analytics tool

I'm not sure how I didn't know about Turf.js before today. But I was searching for a solution this morning (trying to calculate the area of some polygons on a map) and and happened upon Turf.js. Turf is a Javascript library which includes loads of useful utilities, such as calculating a given area, finding the centre of a shape on a map, or calculating the mid-point between two points. You need to know your way around Javascript and GeoJson files but if you do Turf.js is a fantastic addition to your mapping toolbox. 


Until next week,

Disclaimers: Apart from Media Hack I also work for the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) which I occasionally include links to. I do not receive any financial reward for any of the links included in this newsletter. 
Copyright © 2018 Media Hack Collective, All rights reserved.

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