Data Journalism

Chris Knox

Data Editor at the New Zealand Herald (in August 2019)

21 September, 2019


  • Always be suspicious of summary statistics
    • What is the underlying distribution?
    • Has the structure of the data changed?
    • What is being compared?
  • Don’t be afraid to google or ask “What is a median?”


Practical session

Get out your computers!

Inflation adjusted median household income

Median incme

  • NZ.Stats
    • I’m going mad
    • On a release day data is removed…

Inflation data

  • Infoshare
    • Economic Indicatiors -> Consumers Price Index (CPI)
    • Ohoh
    • Take a look on the Reserve bank site
    • Seasonally adjusted or not? (Compare to Reserve Bank)

PriceNow = PriceThen * IndexNow / IndexThen

Police Data


  • Is Auckland or Christchurch worse for crimes involving firearms?

  • Where and when do the most assaults occur?

  • Is burglary increasing?

  • Compare “Taking things crime” in Upper and Lower Hutt.