London shuts down at least 18 mental health wards in three years

At least 18 mental health units in London public hospitals were shut down over the last three years, according to information released after a Freedom of Information request carried out by DatAddicts. Read the rest of this entry »


A new EU directive calls for more transparency from major companies

More than 6,000 big companies from the European Union will have to increase the amount of non financial information they release, because of a new EU directive addressed to private enterprises. This new rule has been greatly water down by the pressure of lobbies in Brussels, but it will improve public access to the impacts of these companies’ activities over the environment, social issues, diversity, respect to human rights, corruption and bribes. Read the rest of this entry »

Female scientists underrepresented at senior roles in the UK

Female scientistA new report has put figures to the already known problem of the “leaky pipeline” in the British science. Although female and male scientists are almost equals in the overall scientific workforce, women are highly underrepresented at the most senior roles.

The report, titled “A picture of the UK scientific workforce“, describes a “glass ceiling” situation, where female scientists are constrained at lower managerial and professional roles. Women have only a fourth (25,4 per cent) of the higher managerial jobs in the UK science sphere -excluding health jobs-.  Read the rest of this entry »

How to scrape data from a website

Sometimes, websites host tons of useful data that you would like to collect and collide in a spreadsheet. We all know how to copy&paste, but that can become a hateful task if we are talking about many data spread in different pages of that website. There is an useful skill to solve that: scraping websites. Read the rest of this entry »

How to write a successful FOI Request

FOI requests are one of the most amazing tools to get data that I have ever discovered. I came across with them for the first time earlier this year, as part of my MA course in Science Journalism, since there is not anything remotely similar in my country, Spain. I have become very enthusiastic about them and the opportunities they offer for finding new stories, in many cases with an important impact on the public. Below you can find some recommendations to write a successful FOI request and send it to a public body in England. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for avoiding blunders with numbers in the news

These are some tips for avoiding blunders when writing stories with numbers and statistics. I came across with them while reading handbooks on Data Journalism, so this is a summary of the best of them: Read the rest of this entry »

Alberto Cairo: “Data journalism will change this profession for the better”

Alberto Cairo during a conference

Alberto Cairo during a conference

Alberto Cairo is a professor of Information Graphics and Visualization at the School of Communication at the University of Miami, where he is also the director of the Visualization Program at the UM’s Center for Computational Science. He has written two books: Infografía 2.0: Visualización interactiva de información en prensa (Alamut, Spain, 2008) and The Functional Art: an Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (PeachPit Press, 2012). In 2000, Cairo led the creation of the Interactive Infographics Department at El Mundo, the second largest newspaper in Spain, and one of the pioneers in embracing data visualization. Read the rest of this entry »