Category: Opinion

Data News of the Week: Hong Kong Legislative By-Election 2018

The hope for pro-democracy camp to regain its veto power in the legislature vanished as Edward Yiu Chung Yim failed to beat his rival Vincent Cheng Wing-shun in last week’s by-election.

Legislative By-election 2018 was held on 11 March for four vacant seats in the council, following after the oath-taking saga which disqualified six councilors. New legislators were elected from three regions – New Territories East, Kowloon West, and Hong Kong Island, as well as Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency.

Election is all about numbers – voter turnout rate, numbers of votes, and percentage of voters supporting candidate A or B, making it a golden opportunity for data visualization. In this article, we select three local news media, which are Initium, SCMP, and HK01, to discuss their different coverages on the by-election.

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Key Takes from Jessica Lo’s Sharing on ODD-HK 2018 about Government Data Portal

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. In the year of 2018, more than 400 cities simultaneously organise hackathons on Mar 3. According to one Hong Kong organiser, Bastien Douglas, most local organisers of ODD are government affiliates. In Hong Kong, communities like OSHK and ODHK lead the organisation every year. One highlight for ODD-HK-18 is the talk from Jessica Lo, the system manager from OGCIO responsible for the open data portal:

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Lightning News from Public Data Sets

It is time to break-down the broad concept of “data journalism”. When talking about the combination of data and news, we usually refer to two processes, sometimes conducted in an integral manner. One process is to discover news points from datasets. The datasets can provide a lead for further investigation. The final product does not necessarily reflect the usage of data. It may look the same as normal news products mainly composed of interviews and photos. This is called “data mining” in the science domain. Another process is to present news points using data. There come to all kinds of charts and interactive/ immersive presentations. This is called “data visualisation” in the science domain.

Let’s focus on the “data mining” part in this article. That is to discover news from datasets, or more precisely discover a news lead from datasets. The further development of the entire news story may take much more efforts with a combination of traditional and modern methods. For easier discussion, we treat “news” in the general form: something the audience does not know before reading, a.k.a, something that “appears new”. It could be the status update of a current affair, or it could be the “new knowledge” to the readers (probably be “common knowledge” to experts which we don’t want to waste time debating).

As advocated by the “Road to Jan”: the most profound theory takes the simplest form. As a first step, we try not using programming, or even sophisticated spreadsheet skills. One can readily find some “news” with a bit “nose for news” and be computer literate is good enough. In this article, we will demo a few news points mined by our undergraduate students from Hong Kong government data portal: . It took around 20 minutes in the second class of a data journalism course. We start with a public dataset from the portal, check out the data tables and eyeball if there is anything interesting. The process is so quick that we would like to give it a brand name: Lightning News. One can sharpen his/her news sense and data sense by doing this as daily exercise.

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[Repost] Reflections on the talk by Prof Ikhlaq Sidhu on Artificial Intelligence


Prof Ikhlaq Sidhu on the DataXHKBU workshop on 26 Jan (by Xinzhi Zhang)

Note: This post was originally contributed as an entry to the Communicar Journal Blog on 28 Jan 2018. The author would like to repost it to the D&N Society]

Reflections on the talk by Prof Ikhlaq Sidhu on Artificial Intelligence

“Will AI help the film directors to make better movies? – Yes! But will AI replace the film directors and become directors? – No!” – Prof Ikhlaq Sidhu.

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Tech in IJ: An observation and rethink after GIJC17

The sharing Pili Hu gave about the experience, observations and thoughts taken away from the trip to Global Investigative Journalism Conference 2017. Slides are followed. Keep reading for an outline of topics discussed in this talk.

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Curate datasets for fun, and profit

Cover photo source: raul kalvo

The term “Curator” was traditionally used in the context of museums, library, gallery and art exhibitions. It general refers to the person who creatively plan and well organise resources to maximise the utility for the audience. The process that a curator gets the job done is thus “curate”.

TLDR readers, here are the sites that worth your visit:

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賣數據?賣能力?淺談數據新聞的商業出路 — 香港網絡媒體峯會後感

【編註】本文是2017年12月4日的香港網絡媒體峯會後的感想,由 Pili Hu 口述完成,先使用科大訊飛轉爲文字稿,再通過 OpenCC 由簡體轉爲繁體,經過輕量編輯後發出。因爲是口述稿,行文難免累贅,有部分用語不準確的地方,歡迎留言指正。從技術上看,是我們一次新的嘗試,希望藉此方法加速信息傳遞的效率。總共耗時爲1小時在地鐵上口述,加1.5小時編輯。



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Learn Spreadsheet to Mine Data and Jumpstart Your Data Journalism Career – A Sharing by Aimee Edmondson

Aimee Edmondson is now an Associate Professor with Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University. HKBU students are very lucky to have this knowledgeable and passionate speaker to talk about data journalism this afternoon. Her 12 years in reporting and later acquired statistics and technology are a fine combination for a data journalist. In the world where people are too fascinated by new technology and numerous boot camps are created by non-journalists, Aimee can be a role model for those “traditional journalists” who are moving in this direction.

Why does data matter? In Aimee’s words, you want to be a reporter, not a repeater. Data helps one to verify what the source is saying and find out what is really happening. To be pragmatic, we are seeing more and more JD requiring data analytics skills from investigative reporters. Going beyond the journalism domain, the skills trained by data journalism can well fit into corporate communication, public relation and advertising industry.

Picture: Job boards on IRE, from the slides

To start, one only needs to work on “small data”, with a spreadsheet.

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5 Signs to Indicate the Future of Hong Kong Media Is Bright

It’s almost the end of 2017 and perhaps it’s the right time to predict the future of Hong Kong media. Although many might think the industry enters another “dark age”, it is not as worse as the majority think. We observed some promising trends of Hong Kong media landscape this year:

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