Project description

The Paper data news team focuses on data-driven stories and explanatory storytelling. The team consists of 20 people: half are data journalists, and half are graphics designers of all sorts, from information design to 3D modeling.

We cover stories on tight deadlines. For example, we examined the flood in Shouguang, Shandong. In August 2018, heavy rain caused the steep rise of the storage water level in several reservoirs in the upper reaches of the Mihe River Basin. The local government decided to release dams, and several villages along the river were flooded, which lead to controversy. We collected data on water storage from the Provincial Hydrographic Bureau and explained the changes in storage capacity of three major reservoirs during that time period. Shouguang is a major vegetable production area. We also checked the changes in the prices of wholesale vegetables from ShouGuang Administration for Commodity Prices and most vegetables prices showed a clear upward trend.

We measure policy effects by data. For example, we questioned who benefits the most from the new tax cuts, using an income distribution dataset that mirrors the income distribution around the nation.

We stretch ways to get data suitable for our stories. We turned unstructured information into databases, and told stories on the Shanghai marriage market and FOI regulation lawsuits in China. We launched a crowdsourcing site to collect memory stories of Wenchuan earthquake; We acquired test records from an ordinary class in a high school in Zhejiang, to observe how students choose their ellectives and how their performances are related to their choice.

We try to push the envelope and use suitable storytelling for valuble stories. Nowadays, The content distribution is centered by mobile social media platforms such as WeChat. Under this circumstance, users favor simple interactions. We apply mobile-first strategy from five years ago, when we first started the team. But we also try to create new and simple interactions to engage our users. For example, We created a game to let users virtually experience the Shanghai marriage market.

We also collaborate constantly with our English-language sister publication, Sixth Tone, and published some of our projects in bilingual.

What makes this project innovative?

We cover stories on tight deadlines. For example, we examined the flood in Shouguang, Shandong. In August 2018, heavy rain caused the steep rise of the storage water level in several reservoirs in the upper reaches of the Mihe River Basin. The local government decided to release dams, and several villages along the river were flooded, which lead to controversy. We collected data on water storage from the Provincial Hydrographic Bureau and explained the changes in storage capacity of three major reservoirs during that time period. Shouguang is a major vegetable production area. We also checked the changes in the prices of wholesale vegetables from ShouGuang Administration for Commodity Prices and most vegetables prices showed a clear upward trend. We measure policy effects by data. For example, we questioned who benefits the most from the new tax cuts, using an income distribution dataset that mirrors the income distribution around the nation. We stretch ways to get data suitable for our stories. We turned unstructured information into databases, and told stories on the Shanghai marriage market and FOI regulation lawsuits in China. We launched a crowdsourcing site to collect memory stories of Wenchuan earthquake; We acquired test records from an ordinary class in a high school in Zhejiang, to observe how students choose their ellectives and how their performances are related to their choice. We try to push the envelope and use suitable storytelling for valuble stories. Nowadays, The content distribution is centered by mobile social media platforms such as WeChat. Under this circumstance, users favor simple interactions. We apply mobile-first strategy from five years ago, when we first started the team. But we also try to create new and simple interactions to engage our users. For example, We created a game to let users virtually experience the Shanghai marriage market. We also collaborate constantly with our English-language sister publication, Sixth Tone, and published some of our projects in bilingual.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

Our projects made impacts in different ways, we also measure them differently. Some went viral on social media. For our "wandering sun" story, The Paper set up a hashtag on Weibo named #太阳流浪最久的一次# (the longest the sun ever wandered), and it became the 19th most trendy topic on the entire social media platform. Some caught attention from expert groups. For our "FOI regulation lawsuits" story, the project was republished by sveral stakeholders, getting attention from experts in the open data area.

Source and methodology

We use third-party data; we also process unstructured information into datasets; we collect data from users by building crowdsourcing tools.

Technologies Used

Excel and Python for data analysis; Adobe Illustrator and Processing for visualization; HTML&CSS&JavaScript, more specifically D3, ai2html, P5 for page development.

Project members

Yan Lu, Zehong Zhang, Manyun Zou, Yasai Wang, Jiaxing Kong, Haiyan Du, Xiner Jiang, Xueqing Xu, Chang Liu

Link

Additional links

Followers

Click Follow to keep up with the evolution of this project:
you will receive a notification anytime the project leader updates the project page.