Monday, November 17, 2008

Thinking About Newspapers Creatively: the Guardian

This really is very interesting: amid the gloom of so many newspapers' forecasts here is R&D of the best kind. I'm guessing it's also quite cheap to do.

Several hacks focused on visualising data supplied by Simon Rogers - for example a map of where people in the UK were claiming jobseekers allowance. As the map scrolled across the screen the hacker in question announced "So you can see that rural areas are fine, but surprise, surprise, Birmingham is f*&$%d".

Visualising data is fine, but one of the prototypes was concerned with getting people to understand the real value of the big numbers announced by Governments and businesses. "Won't someone please think of the numbers" added a panel to The Guardian website which allowed you to change any monetary sums in the stories into useful comparisons like what % of the salary of Jonathan Ross this represented, or how many tons the sum would weigh in pennies, or how many Wispa bars you could buy with the money.

Currybet's Martin Belam with a great post about being at the Guardian's Hack Day. [There are still people that think the word hack means: journalist btw]. If Martin's piece reflects the mood accurately, as I'm sure it does, then the Guardian's online future will be both fertile and visual.

Here, for instance, is a Charlie Brooker only Guardian, the

In another post I'm going to consider R&D and newspapers: where is the rest of the cool stuff; and how can journalism claw back some trust? I have been at the POLIS "What is Financial Journalism For?" seminar at the LSE all morning. Which was great, but no hack. More on that soon too.

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