Data-Driven Journalism

  • December 14, 2010 · 6:30 PM
  • UC Berkeley, Soda Hall

Our December meeting features Peter Aldhous, San Francisco bureau chief of New Scientist magazine who will give a presentation on "Data-Driven Journalism".


6:30 Networking (Pizza sponsored by Revolution Analytics)
7:00 Announcements
7:15 Peter Aldhous, Data Driven Journalism
8:30 Close

Abstract From the WikiLeaks War Diaries, to geographical analyses of Netflix rental patterns, news organizations are increasingly running data-heavy stories featuring pleasing visualizations of the results. Is this the dawn of “data journalism”? In fact, some pioneering journalists have employed quantitative methods for many years. Peter will explore the growth and potential of data-driven journalism, focusing on examples where R is being used in the newsroom – including the consistently impressive work of the graphics team at The New York Times, and Barron’s analysis of Jim “Mad Money” Cramer’s stock picks. Peter will also discuss his own, more modest projects, and relate his positive experiences when reaching out to the R community for help and advice. About Peter Aldhous

Peter Aldhous is San Francisco bureau chief with New Scientist magazine, reporting on biology, medicine, social sciences and the environment — from genetics and stem cells, through ecology and conservation, to psychology and psychiatry.

He got his break in journalism in 1989 as a reporter for Nature in London, fresh from a PhD in animal behavior. Later he worked as European correspondent for Science and as news editor for New Scientist. Prior to moving to California in October 2005, he spent five years as chief news & features editor with Nature. Peter is especially interested in investigative and computer-assisted reporting, and fascinated by data visualization. He also teaches in the Science Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz

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  • Jim F.

    Good presentation, but I would have preferred less historical background on data journalism and more detail on the presenter's own experiences. But then, I'm a journalist.

    December 15, 2010

  • fjohnson146

    I thought the presentation was well done. The presenter spoke in a conversational but articulate and well-paced manner; did not search for words and was open to input from the audience. There were a few minor problems with the slides, but in general Peter Aldous integrated the slides into his talk in a nearly seamless manner. Any speaker who makes his presentation look as easy as Aldous did, has mastered the art of public speaking. I give Peter Aldous an A, possibly an A+ for his presetation.

    December 15, 2010

  • nathan p.

    Thanks to the organizers, and thank you Peter for a wonderful presentation!

    December 15, 2010

  • BenG

    fascinating talk

    December 15, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great to see everybody there!

    December 15, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great combination of interesting applications with technical details.

    December 15, 2010

  • Owen S.

    Very nice overview presentation. Thank you.

    December 15, 2010

  • Dani U.

    It was a must see lecture - Peter Aldrous gave an inspiring presentation of how much statistics (and R) is permeating and influencing the journalistic world.

    December 15, 2010

  • David S.

    Thanks to Peter Aldhous for an inspiring talk tonight. Peter has graciously shared his slides for download at:

    December 14, 2010

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