Journo Resolutions 2012

As it’s the third day of the New Year, now’s as good a time as any for some resolutions for the new year.


Last year, I learnt a lot about data journalism – from going on DJCamp and then experimenting with things like Tableau and Google Fusion Tables (I’ve now passed the ‘wow, aren’t fusion tables great’ stage and am into ‘why won’t they cooperate and do what I need’).

This year, I’m planning to learn a lot more.

On the list for this year (so far) is coding (and hopefully as a result, scraping, visualisations, APIs and apps) and getting the most out of Tableau.

So far, I have the giant list of data journalism resources, which I plan to start working through to pick out useful things and try some new stuff out.

I’ve also signed up to from Code Academy and also for the CS101 class from Stanford (I’ve just finished the Introduction to Database class, which was excellent), and I’m on day 3 of 30 days to learn html and css. There’s also a book on Processing sitting on my floor waiting to be read.


One of the great things about data journalism is it lends itself to investigative journalism, particularly alongside FOIs.

Finding out how many schools in Wales have CCTV cameras by FOIing all of them was a pain to do (1,732 schools, leading to 600 response to collate) but I’m happy with the way the story turned out.

(I’m not finished with this one, still going to chase up all the non-responders and appeal the refusals (am heading for an ICO appeal on that one).

I want to make better use of this and come up with some really great stories this year.

I have a lot of ideas, the problem comes from not focusing and working on them in an organised manner, as I’m very easily distracted (which is why this is being posted on January 3, not January 1).

So this is more an organisational task then anything, to make sure ideas actually go somewhere.

Open Data

Last year saw the tentative start of the Open Wales campaign.

This is the year where there will be progress and I’m resolving to make it happen.

Many of the UK Government pledges on data will be released this year and Wales can’t be left behind, it’s just going to take a little bit of work to impress that on the Welsh Government and public bodies.

The first aim is start engaging the above and asking them to start looking at open data (it can be done, Monmouthshire’s already on its way).

From there, if people and public bodies start engaging, we could see Wales becoming an open data country – we were the first Fair Trade country and the first to make the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child part of domestic law – we’re quite good at being radical, this is an area where we should be leading, not trailing behind.


More often (doing quite well so far).

Last year I managed about 1.5 posts a month.

This year I’m planning to post a few more data journalism tutorials, more on Open Wales (hopefully there will be lots of news) and maybe a few more thoughts on journalism.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.