Data & News Salon #2 | From open source and open data to data journalism and civic engagement — Practice from MirrorMedia and READr

從開放源碼、開放數據到數據新聞、公民參與 — 來自鏡傳媒與READr的實踐

From open source and open data to data journalism and civic engagement — Practice from MirrorMedia and READr


Time: 14/6/2018 (Thur), 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Venue: CVA105, HKBU

Speakers: 簡信昌 & 李又如

Language: Mandarin | 國語

Register Here

Welcome to join us!


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[Tools] Online Verification Tools – Notes from Google @ GEN 2018

At this year’s GEN (Global Editors Network) summit, Google News Initiative shared their notes regarding data journalism resources, particularly for investigative research and verification by online forensics. Here are some excerpts and we get a copy from Google News Lab, which you may find the complete notes attached at the end.

Research Tools

  • Google Public Data Explorer provides public data and forecasts from a range of international organizations and academic institutions. Visualized data are ready to interpret.
  • Google Trends compares search terms in a country and timeframe of your choice.

Verification Tools

Find more on data journalism training and multimedia toolsets below:

Q2 2018_ Workshop Notes 2018




從第五屆立法會開始,電子投票記錄以XML結構化數據的形式公佈於網站上,供公衆下載。我們通過爬蟲蒐集第六屆立法會議員從2016年11月10日至2018年3月29日做出的電子投票記錄,共27426票紀錄,對於每個議案,議員可能產生五種不同的表決結果——贊成、反對、棄權、缺席或出席(即出席會議,但未投下「贊成」、「反對」或「棄權」中的任何一票;立法會小百科 )。將不同的表決結果數值化後,使用主成分分析法(Principal Component Analysis,以下簡稱為 PCA),計算2萬票紀錄反映出的最大分歧,即主維度(Principal Axis),記為 PA1。同時我們計算每位議員的投票紀錄在 PA1 上的投影值,即主成分(Principal Component),記爲 PC1。PC1 體現議員之間的相對關係,兩位議員得到的分值越接近,則說明他們的投票傾向也越接近。

按照 PC1 分值由小到大排序,就得到一條數據驅動的「政治光譜」(如下圖所示)。在這條「光譜」中間,是從不投票的梁君彥。越靠近梁君彥的人,投票風格就越溫和。越遠離梁君彥的人,投票風格就越激進。而梁君彥的兩邊,按照議員所屬派別塗色,恰恰是建制和泛民兩派人馬,與常識相符。




Continue reading “第六屆香港立法會投票記錄分析(2016-2018)”

Syria’s toxic war on itself

The Middle Eastern nation Syria has been in a state of civil war since last seven years with different groups trying to seize control of the country. The country has become an international battleground where various states and their proxy networks have been continuously clashing with each other. The war has taken the lives of more than 465,000 people so far and displaced more than 12 million, of which 6 million refugees have been dispersed around the world.

About Datasets

A media documentation — the Syrian Archive Dataset is an open source platform that collects, curates, verifies, and preserves visual documentation of human rights violations in Syria. It maintains an extensive video database of all known allegations in which civilians have been reported killed or injured since 2014. Till April 20, 2018, this database includes 4,384 videos which were documented by journalists, citizen reporters and activists.

A recorded death list — the Violations Documentation Center in Syria is one of the largest human rights organisations established in 2011 with staff members and contacts in all governorates and most cities inside Syria.

The complex nature of the war in Syria limits access to open database. And therefore, the data extracted could miss some important information; however, we will be analyzing the situation in Syria with precision by filling some of the gaps with the help of other dataset.

On the morning of April 14, 2018, the US, Britain and France bombarded three government sites in Syria allegedly targeting the chemical weapons facilities. Is it true that Syria has been continuously suffering from its internal turbulence which needs to be intervened by foreign players?

We drew a general picture of the Syria attacks based on the dataset of 329 which were recorded from January 1, 2017 to April 20, 2018.

Part 1 General Picture

Living Hell

In the war-torn country, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Hama and Daraa are the cities documented by both the databases as the locations where most of the violations took place, despite some slight differences on the rankings of these locations.

In the war-torn country, Aleppo, Damascus, Idlib, Hama and Daraa are the cities documented by both the databases as the locations where most of the violations took place, despite some slight differences on the rankings of these locations.

图片 1.png
The media coverage of the locations where most violent incidents happened are highly identical to the locations recorded in the actual death list.

To be specific, the Syrian Archive, which demonstrates media coverage, witnessed most violations in Aleppo (1,920), followed by Idlib (219), Hama (103), Damascus (97) and Homs (39).

The Violations Documentation Centre of Syria, which records the actual registered death list, also presented Aleppo (7,990) as the most violation prone city in Syria, Damascus (6,372) stood tall at second, Idlib (4,434) and Deir Ezzor (2,904), a city which was absent in the media coverage database.

In terms of geographic distribution of the violent incidents in Syria, Aleppo and Idlib are the two cities ranking among the tops in both the documentations and have been the most disputed regions taken up by either rebels or jihadists, thus these are the locations where the Syrian regime and its allies have been concentrating their firepower.

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Flying in the sky, a report of air crash worldwide


1/2560000 in 2016  VS.  ?  in history

In the past 70 years, Airplane has been an important tool for people to travel long distances. According to IATA annual report In 2016, the major aviation accident rate was 0.39, which was equivalent to only one major accident happen in every 2.56 million flights. This seemingly safe number is built on countless blood and sweat. Step down and turn back a little bit, let’s count the successes and failures in the flying history.

Data source

Data volume

  • 5534


  1. Yearly how many planes crashed? any trend? how many people were on board? how many survived? how many died?
  2. How the distribution of accidents between military and passengers? any insights?
  3. The highest number of crashes by operator and type of aircraft. The relationship between operators and types of airplanes?
  4. Find the airline routes with most accidents and try to find the reasons.
  5. Find any interesting trends/behaviors that we encounter when we analyze the dataset.

History of airplane accidents

Count of accidents by Year


Form the picture, we can see the total accidents trend from low to high before the 1970s. After that, there are some small peaks around 1990 and 2010. But the overall trend after 1990 is gradually going down.

At the beginning of 20 centuries, 1903, Wright brothers invented plane. In 1909, French hold a big flight competition, which threatened the England and other European countries. Even there were many problems with the current planes, the military can’t wait for using it in war. The first time of airplanes’ appearing thus was in Italo-Turkish War. The power of airplane attracted other countries’ military, which leads a huge development in the military aviation industry. From 1914, the first world wartime, airplane mainly used for investigating, transporting, and some peripheral things. At the time of world war II, which is around 1940. Airplanes had widely used in battle. At the same time, World civil aviation organization (IATA) established in Havana, the capital of Cuba in 1945. In 1978, Cater, the president of the USA, signed meaningful a law in the history of American aviation legislation, which is <the airline deregulation act>. The establishment and merger of companies in the US domestic aviation industry, route selection, fare establishment, and even loss-making operations, are basically out of government control and intervention. The number of airplanes grows up fast with the high possibility of air crash occurred. The other reason we consider is that airplane technologies that at that time had weakness and need to improve. With the technologies completed, the amount of air crash will decrease. These situations are obvious after 2000.

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图片 11.png



Continue reading “從法案審議時長,回顧2000-2017年的香港立法會”

立法會小百科 Q&A












“法案”是新法例的建議或對現有法例的修訂建議。政府及議員可提交法案,以提出制定新法例或修訂現行法例的建議,供立法會審議。法案須在立法會完成三讀程序,才可成為 法律。法案提交立法會後,議員會辯論及表決法案。






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Six-Hour with Geeks: A Glance into Hong Kong Open Source Movement

Loads of imagination about programming has been running helter-skelter in my mind before I step into the spacious and well-polished Spectrum studio on the 11th floor of an office building at Sheung Wan in this bright Saturday morning. As someone who has been concentrating only on courses about liberal arts since senior school, I always consider coding as something far away from my daily life.

But today, Chico Xu, Ivy Wang and I, as student reporters, are going to take a glance into this sophisticated business which we once thought was irrelevant to the lives of us and the lives of many, but which actually is, and to a large extent.

The event we are attending is called the Global Pandas Documentation Sprint, a worldwide event held simultaneously in more than 300 countries on March 10, 2018, aiming at improving this Python library’s documentation with clearer explanations and better examples, and trying to leave, at the end of the day, with the library enhanced “in a perfect state,” as put by its official website.

The Global Pandas Documentation Sprint was held simultaneously in more than 300 countries around the world.

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Workshop: Forensics and Verification with Storyful on Social Media

This is a three-week training workshop conducted by journalist from Storyful, a social media information gathering/ content producing platform used by many journalists and marketers. The training time is April 11/ 18/ 25 afternoon at CVA703. Digital forensics and verification is also related with data journalist’s day-to-day job, especially many data/ information nowadays come from social media. We will have the second class of the workshop tomorrowWednesday April 18, at 4:30pm in the CVA 703 lab. Please find the following announcement edited from Robin Ewing’s message.

The trainers this week are Storyful journalists Rachel Blundy and Layla Mashkoor.

  • Rachel was a journalist with the SCMP before coming to Storyful
  • Layla worked in communications and marketing.

They will focus on using forensic verification tools to investigative and verify social photos and video and how you can debunk fake or misleading content. This will be a hands-on workshop and great training for those of you who want to work in media or communication.

Prerequisite: The trainers have asked that everyone have a Twitter account and a TweetDeck account. Please open free accounts before class if you don’t already have them.

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How China Blockbuster War Movies Capture China’s Nationalism

Summary: China Blockbuster War Movies become more and more popular in the global. The national movie frequently takes on the responsibility of representing the national identity to its citizens or even the world. How does China Blockbuster War Movies Capture China’s Nationalism? What is the opinion of the public? We used Douban as the source to extract data from the film reviews of two movies (“Operation Red Sea” and “Wolf Warrior” ) on the Douban, a popular art consumption and rating website, to figure out the thought of people behind the screen and the future development of Blockbuster War Movies in China. With the help of Python, we made a Wordcloud picture of the frequent words included in the 1,000 pieces of films reviews for each movie. We found that China’s new breed of patriotic hero on the big screen reflects the rise of a superpower and  China’s War Movies is shaping the image of China.

Last month, movie tickets sales in mainland China hit 10.1 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), a box office world record for monthly sales in a single market. No film stood out more than “Operation Red Sea.”, which had grossed almost 2.5 billion yuan in just 13 days by the end of February.


 “Operation Red Sea” is based on the Chinese navy’s March 2015 evacuation of Yemen. Set amid militant unrest in a fictional Middle Eastern country, it tells the stories of a ship’s crew and an assault team as they rescue Chinese citizens and foreign refugees, resolving a potential nuclear crisis along the way.

Similarly, last summer’s blockbuster “Wolf Warrior 2,” ($854 million), tells the stories of a loose-cannon Chinese soldier in an unnamed African country. “Operation Red Sea” tones down the patriotism of last year’s smash hit film ‘Wolf Warrior 2’, playing up gore over glorifying war.

How does China Blockbuster War Movies Capture China’s Nationalism? What are the opinion of the public in China and the globe? Can these films be a step towards making Chinese action films more palatable overseas? We will make some Analysis based on the data.

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