Choosing my dataset

The dataset that I have chosen to use for my assessment project is on knife crime statistics in London in the year 2018.

I chose these statistics as my dataset as not only will I look at just the year 2018 I will look at the last few years and also I will look at figures recorded of knife crime this year. This topic interests me as there has been a lot in the news about knife crime as it rapidly increased last year.

In the dataset I can find many angles some ways can be to show that knife crime is on the rise, not all knife crime may be recorded, crime is increasing and what could be the reason towards this and I can also differentiate crime rates and maybe uncover what type of crime is the highest in London.

Using Data In A News Story

News story I found: UK employment hits record high

I would use data to develop this story by finding data that shows how people being in employment has risen in the last few years, I would also find data that shows how many people are unemployed. I would also maybe try to interpret reasons as to why more people are getting jobs and what could be the reason towards this.

The angle I would take is employment in the UK is rising and I would add data to show this and interpret.

The Office for National Statistics have published data that shows employment over the years has risen. Click here to see the data

How we approach statistical data

Reasoning is key

People to notice how they feel about a claim before they read it and notice their own emotional reaction and think about whether they should retweet it.

People highly biased by the way they processed information

Certain things that we want to be true

Inequalities rising- within the UK or globally, consumption, gender, race, pre-tax/post tax inequality- lots of different claims can be made

Look at correlation and causation- is there a link or is it a cause

Some data can be left out as you can’t convey what has been put in and what’s missing in the data

Try understanding data by looking at averages, so you can see a tiny fraction of what you can see

Understand the back story and think about where it has come from and why has it come up, why is data worth sharing.

Does it come from an academic source?

What is the process by which the data has come in front of you?

Be curious

The State of Union speeches

The infographic from The Atlantic website which has a post on the Language of the State of the Union. It shows how American presidents use words to reflect the twists and turns of American history. The chart provides information which is very clear as it’s labelled clearly by each Presidents name, however, the scale on the chart is very big which makes it very hard to understand how many words per million some Presidents have spoken for example, Andrew Jackson has spoken in between 0 to 200 words per million, but we don’t know the exact figure. The chart may be biased towards some presidents to make them look good to the public in American history as they have been colour coded in colours red and pinks which may look more vibrant and serious.

Another infographic is from the Vox, which also extrapolates words Obama had used during his time as president. This chart is much clearer and easier to read as the scales are much smaller and easier to understand. By looking at it straight away we can understand that Obama has spoken around 7,000 words. The colour they have used on the chart is also good as it’s not too much of a bright colour which makes it hard to see writing. The chart also goes onto add comparisons to other American Presidents.

The Washington Post have an infographic of looking at the frequency of a series of selected terms grouped into 7 topics. The data is very hard to understand as the colours red and blue both overlap at times in the data, this makes it hard for people to easily read the data. A good thing about it is that if you move around the data there is information explaining parts of the data to help people have a deeper understanding. This data has got good scales and topics are separated which is good and clear. However, it’s not the best type of infographic to use as it can be quite confusing and hard to extrapolate.

All infographics differ in approaching the data types used, they all have good things to them and bad as they can all be confusing but using good scales and colours makes it easier to understand the infographics.

Data Journalism

A story that may come as a result of the data is from a website called which has published data on whether true stories have actually been voted by people to actually be accurate.

One data from the website found was that 100% of people believe that the film Selma is a based on a true story and in reality, the film Selma was based on a true story, so the public were right. This is interesting as people believed that the whole storyline was true, however in reality some parts may not be 100% accurate as the story for example, things that MLK said word for word may not necessarily have been said in the film. 

However, another film called The Big Short was said to be 91.4% a true story. However, this is blown out of proportion and it can be turned into a publishable story as the storyline in the film of the true story is not all accurate and there are many parts of the story that are very inaccurate and false.

Therefore, this data is interesting as not all stories can be true and this links to Journalism as stories can have cliff-hangers and plot twists in order to engage the audience and make them keep interacting with the same story to find out more information which may not be typically correct. Also, this can become published into a story to be known as fake news to the public.

How I Consume News

News stories are now mainly consumed online, and news can be accessed via the use of technological devices such as mobile phones, iPad’s and laptops. News is also still consumed from newspapers, but this is in decline.

I consume news which is posted online. I consume the news in this way as I find that news can be easily read from my smartphone, also it saves me the hassle of buying a paper every morning. I like being able to read news stories from my smartphone as news is everywhere on my phone. I have a news app on my phone which updates regularly throughout the day, I like this method as when there’s new news I get notifications sent to me on my phone, which therefore allows me to be regularly updated with the news and in this way, I consume news much faster than reading a newspaper.

However, my perception changes with the way I consume news as I also read news from Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp however, the news is online which could lead to me reading fake news as these types of news are not all from journalists but are from the general public and the public could be posting news on social media platforms that haven’t been well researched on and instead could be a rumour that is spreading around which they think is true but actually fake.

Tensions between Traditional and Technology-Driven Journalism

Technology has developed massively in the past decade and now technology can be said to be the most popular and has overtaken traditional journalism.

One way there is tensions between traditional and technology-driven journalism is traditional journalism is slowly but surely dying out. Forms of traditional journalism is things like newspapers are a source of news stories. However, the tension rises here as newspapers are in a massive decline due to technology driven journalism which allows people to access news from their smartphones where they can access news via news apps. These news apps always update their users during the day to let them know the latest news by sending notifications on user’s home screens. This is practical as people no longer have to buy the paper every morning before going to work and they don’t have to spend money buying it.

Also, newspapers companies publish news every morning and get their papers printed on time however, a problem lies as newspaper stories go out of date within hours of it being published and the public want up-to date news, so they know what moves are taking place on a certain issue/topic.

Technology driven journalism over the years has built tension as there has also been a rise in the use of social media, which allows people to comment and post their opinions on topics and it allows people to have a debate and discussion online, it can also sometimes help resolve issues as lots of people talking about the issue can come together and take action to resolve it.

Social media also spreads news around very quickly however, traditional journalism is better than technology driven journalism as news on social media can be fake news as it’s not from a unknown and untrusted source, whereas traditional journalism comes from known journalists.

Fake News Transforming into a Political Dialogue


Picture of fake news
Fake news

Fake news is news that can be written by journalists or even the public posting fake news on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Most Americans believe in fake news headlines. The use of the term ‘fake news’ (e.g. politicians) to discredit news media is a seen as a concern by 49% and 31% is exposed.

Fake news on social media can transform a political dialogue as it can cause lots of uprise and uproar as if news is fake then lots of people will be posting comments and saying different things which could create lots of disagreements on the social media platform page. This can transform into a political dialogue as whoever first posted the news on social media may lose trust from lots of people that have been following their account for a long period of time.

Another way fake news on social media can transform a political dialogue is due to social media currently becoming increasingly popular and because of this lots of people now mainly read news online via apps and social media. This type of news can transform a political dialogue as majority of this news is not written by official sources and fake news can spread onto other people’s profiles which will make the public read news that is artificial due to reading from unreliable sources even though the news may seen very real with supporting evidence such as fake documents and pictures shown.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Picture of a man wearing a VR headset
Maurizio Pesce wearing the VR headset

Virtual reality (VR) journalism has emerged from its early experimental phase to become a more integrated part of many newsrooms. Scene VR project lead by Zach Wise Evanston, Illinois, by Northwestern University Knight Lab had an idea of making a tool for journalists and others to use from their smartphone or camera in order to create VR photo experiences that include interactive navigation.

This editorial opportunity is a good idea as it will make it easier for journalists and other people to capture news very easily as you don’t need to have a professional camera you can capture news with even your smartphone and this can allow audiences to become more engaged due to viewing VR photo experiences. This would produce immersive storytelling as it will become dynamic story, for example if a person was making a documentary on sea life underwater VR photo experiences would be the best thing to use and this tool that Northwestern university want to develop would be an amazing experience to capture for audiences to view.

However, there will be a pitfall as if we think about it major technological challenges remain and this is particularly around the cost and VR news still has a poor understanding of its audience in both terms of content, content discovery, and attitudes to the technology and hardware.

Is Citizen Journalism and User Generated Content Killing Professional Journalism?

Social media icons

Different social media platforms

As we all already know social media has changed the world of journalism and this has been done by both citizen journalism and user generated content. Both citizen journalism and user generated content can be seen as a threat to both professional journalists and traditional journalism.

In a world of news that is provided by citizen journalists and user generated content, the role of journalists now is to produce new news quicker than citizen journalists and user generated content so that Journalists news is read quicker and this would produce lots of people to read journalists news that they publish as it’s hot news in the media.

Even though print journalism may be dying out it is still read by many people and a journalist’s role is to find and produce fresh news so that they can report back to their editors for their news to get published for the next paper or magazine. Some people enjoy reading newspapers and magazines instead of finding news from social media and from their phones.

Journalists produce news that doesn’t include people writing their own opinions however, citizen journalists and user generated content allows you to do so which not a lot of people like as they may agree or disagree with what the public are saying and this can cause disputes on places such as social media online.