I’ve been working on data journalism projects since nearly the start of my journalism studies, back in 2012. First, in Spain, working with large online newspapers, like eldiario.es or El Español, and later, in The Economist data team based in London. My focus is interactive visualization, ranging from election results coverage to policy and education.
What makes this project innovative?
Apart from my work at The Economist I’m the co-founder of Politibot, a chatbot-based publication that has received two Google News Fund prototype projects to develop an easy-to-use CMS for interactive storytelling. I’ve been also creating tools to simplify graphics development and data journalism in Spain (https://github.com/martgnz/d3-snippets, https://github.com/martgnz/es-atlas), and collaborating in dozens of open source projects.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Some of my projects have been widely shared on social media, and have climbed to the top of the most-read pieces in national and international news outlets.
Source and methodology
I try to work with official sources as much as possible, but depending on the topic I’ve had to scrape, collect and even create my own datasets. For example, in one story we did for Politibot, we went through local newspapers trying to find the support for each candidate in the Spanish socialist primaries. With that data, we created our own score and made an interactive graphic that showed the huge disparity on support for the candidates. Some stories at The Economist also feature our own indexes, which aggregate data from several sources.
Every project I work on starts as a R script. Reproducibility and verification is the only way we have to make data journalism more transparent and having all the steps on code is quite helpful to improve that. After that, I iterate quickly using D3, as I’m more confident with it than with any other charting tool (aside from pen and paper). As any data journalist knows, every project has a different need, so I’ve found myself writing bash scripts or Chrome extensions, but usually most of my work ends up as a React application.