Another short post, just to pull together the output of a couple of weeks spent working with Trinity Mirror Regionals’ recently established data journalism unit.
The unit have adopted a smart operating model that makes the most of the reach of the Regionals group of papers, and the fact that, when it comes to dealing with national datasets, story ideas can be worked up efficiently by one central team before being offered to local teams.
Similarly, if something works well as an FOI request in one part of the country then in many cases it will work well elsewhere too.
The focus of my work with the unit was therefore on supporting the whole Regionals family. I did find some data/story ideas which lent themselves to stories for the Manchester Evening News, though, and – originating from that part of the country – couldn’t resist writing those myself. Stories as follows:
- an FOI-led splash on mobile phone thefts;
- an investigation into access to NHS dentists across Greater Manchester; and
- a story about a local council completing the digital equivalent of a vanishing trick – disappearing entirely from Google’s search listings.
There also seems to be widespread acceptance across the group of the benefits which a good visualisation can bring to a web story, so I produced a couple of interactive maps, used by the MEN, and the Newcastle Chronicle.