11 December 2014
The Global Editors Network is very proud to launch the fourth Data Journalism Awards! You have until 10 April 2015 to submit your work. The competition is sponsored by Google and the Knight Foundation. You'll find all relevant information on datajournalismawards.org. We are excited to introduce our new DJA Director, Simon Rogers (Twitter) who gave us the scoop on the new season.
Who are you? What is your role at Twitter?
I am Data Editor at Twitter in San Francisco, helping the team there tell stories with huge amounts of data. You can see some of the stuff I'm involved in by following @TwitterData or checking out interactive.twitter.com
[Update 6 March: Simon Rogers has left Twitter and joined Google Newslab]
What is your best souvenir at The Guardian? And at Twitter?
Souvenirs is a good word — I am so lucky to have worked in two of the coolest companies on the planet. I guess at The Guardian it would be the Datablog, which I set up, and that includes the work we did on Wikileaks, UK government spending, MPs' expenses, the 2011 riots and the 2012 Olympics. It was the first national news organisation data journalism site, an approach which has now been duplicated across the world.
At Twitter I'm super-proud of the work we have done to publish the crucial data around the way people use this amazing phenomenon. I guess if you had to push me into a specific project, I would choose the interactive guide that I worked on with designer Nicolas Belmonte around [Obama's] State of the Union speech. This is certainly one of the best things I've ever worked on.
Twitter and data journalism, is it a good fit?
I think we're just scratching the surface of what you can do with Twitter Data and journalism — but every day people post over 500 million tweets and these can give us amazing insights into the way we consume the news. I'd love to see more of this work going on out there in ways that bring the data to life.
What will be your duties as DJA Director? What is new in this edition of DJA?
I am so proud to work with the GEN team and Paul Steiger this year on the awards. They are the global Data Journalism Awards, the only place where we can recognise the incredible work that's taking place in newsrooms of all sizes across the globe. We have five great new judges to add to an already distinguished team and I can't wait to see the entries that we're going to receive.
Can you tell us more about the 2015 DJA Jury?
We are so lucky to have retained a super-strong team of judges from previous years and add in a whole new group who will bring their amazing skills to the team.
We have investigative reporters, designers and established journalists all combining to help guide us through the hundreds of entries. This year we also have five new jurors, each of whom has a unique take on and experience of data journalism. People like Fusion's Mariana Santos, design guru Alberto Cairo, the NYT's Amanda Cox, Momi Peralta from La Nación in Argentina and Shazna Nessa from the Knight Foundation.
In addition we have our brilliant panel of existing judges, such as Aron Pilhofer, who has just moved to The Guardian from The New York Times, Reg Chua and Justin Arenstein (as well as a host of other great names - you can check them out here).
Plus we get to have Paul Steiger's wise and experienced hand to guide the jury — I don't think there is another journalism awards out there with an equivalent strength of experience.
What is your ambition for this fourth edition of the Data Journalism Awards? What are you expecting for the submissions this year? What kind of projects?
I would love to see more entries from the places we least expect it — more from Africa and Asia. I love to see these entries mixing with the established data journalism teams from the UK and the US and really punching above their weight.
I'm really hoping to see some great storytelling this year — people who are brilliant at taking the key data and breaking amazing stories or just at explaining it for a general audience. We've changed the categories a bit too and one of my favourites is the one that rewards projects which open up and release government data. It's all well and good to be clever with data, but it's about opening up those numbers too.
Anything that caught your eye recently in DJ? Any particular trend in the recent months?
Since the awards last year, we have some great new data journalism sites: FiveThirtyEight, The Upshot and Vox, to name a few. Also there is much more data journalism out there in the world as part of mainstream reporting. I can't wait to see these new sites enter the awards and find out who will win!