Past Meetup

Data-Driven Journalism

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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


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