Data Journalism

Chris Knox

Data Editor at the New Zealand Herald (in August 2020)

06 August, 2020


Unsplash is a fantastic source of freely-usuable images.

I really like Martin Reisch’s aerial photographs - I feel like they capture something of what data journalism should be doing - showing a bunch of shapes and abstractions while keeping people in the frame.


Today’s recap is an annotated demo workflow


  • StatsNZ Covid Data
    • show how to fix the dates, convert the numbers and filter down to a single indicator
  • Weekly deaths
    • Use reshape to get the data ready for plotting
  • Chickens
    • Chicken chart from Figure.NZ
  • Baby names
    • History of current top 6 baby names using a full dataset downloaded from Figure.NZ
  • Baby names - regex
    • A more advanced but easier way to filter out 6 baby names

Also don’t forget to look at Workbench’s documentation - especially the short description of each step

New Zealand’s geographic hierarchy

It’s a mess
Hot tip
suburbs do not exist - so don’t request data by suburb

Census Data