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06 December 2016

Students take part in data hackathon with experts and journalists

The Department of Digital Humanities ran its first data journalism hackathon workshop

Student Group Work
Student Group Work


On 2 December 2016 the Department of Digital Humanities ran its first data journalism hackathon workshop, giving Masters students the opportunity to gain hands-on data journalism experience while supported by experts in the field.

During the workshop, run in collaboration with Open Knowledge and the EU project SoBigData, 32 students on the Introduction to Data Journalism module collected, analysed and visualised data on a series of societal issues including:

The work of the students was guided by data and issue experts including Alex Cobham (Tax Justice Network), Professor Richard Murphy (City University/Tax Research UK/Tax Justice Network), David Mihalyi (Natural Resource Governance Initiative), Milena Marin (Amnesty International) and Ben Meghreblian (Open Knowledge International), and supported by data journalists Tom Wills (The Times) and Leila Haddou (Financial Times).

The students and the experts spent the day ‘crunching’ data coming from different sources, validating their reliability, analysing them with advanced statistical methods and visualising them through various static and interactive diagrams. A partnership with the French start-up Atelier Iceberg allowed to use the ‘exploratory data analysis’ tool Matlo (

A team of academics were on hand to support and facilitate the work, including Dr Jonathan Gray (then University of Bath, now King's College London), Liliana Bounegru (University of Groningen/the University of Ghent), Dr Tobias Blanke (King’s College London), Niranjan Sivakumar (médialab Sciences Po Paris) and Dr Tommaso Venturini (King’s College London/INRIA).

Once finalised the data stories produced during the workshop will be published at



In this story

Jonathan W. Y. Gray

Senior Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies

Tobias Blanke

Professor in AI and Humanities