The inaugural colloquium of the Data and News Society brought academics and practitioners together on 16 December to present news stories and accompanying visual displays. The inaugural speaker was Hu Pili, director and data scientist from the Initium Lab at Initium Media, which explores the ways of analysing and visualising data within journalism. Mr Hu demonstrated how the lab used voting records from the Hong Kong Legislative Council from Oct 2012 to June 2015 to create a visual display that allows readers to see how individual council members voted in relation to party lines. The graphic was also 3D-printed for the visually impaired.

Following the Mr Hu’s presentation, two student groups presented their semester projects from Dr Roselyn Du’s Data Journalism course. A team of three members first presented their work on Nobel Prize winners. By accumulating data from various sites about the demographics of winners and the history of the award, the team was able to create visual displays of involving winners’ gender, age and country over the years, including an interactive timeline and a video of Chinese-born recipients. The second presentation focused on the data surrounding abortions in the People’s Republic of China since the implementation of the one-child policy, and used data on terminated pregnancies between 1971 and 2013.

The Data & News Society (D&N) is a multi-disciplinary Community of Practice involving students, scholars and professionals from diverse academic backgrounds, including journalism, computer science, statistics, visual communication, and more. The D&N serves as a colloquium for media professionals, instructors, and students who are interested in the collaboration of data and news.