Quick Interactives

Quick Interactives

Organisation: Trinity Mirror Data Unit (United Kingdom)

Publication Date: 04/09/2016

Size of team/newsroom:small

Description

We have created a series of quick interactives that let people get to the data that matters to them, that tells them about where they live - such as how long you can expect to enjoy good health, how many people are paid less than the living wage, and how much the social care precept might raise your council tax.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Being able to create interactives that allow people to personalise the story quickly adds an extra element of interactivity and engagement to articles. It means we can push genuine public-interest issues to the top of the most-read lists. While highlighting areas with the best and worst life expectancy or writing a story about the Government's plans to add a social care precept to council tax is interesting to many people, being able to answer the question of what it means for them makes the story more personal and more interesting, which in term may mean they spend longer reading a story or are more likely to share it. In terms of traffic, the stories on healthy life expectancy had 33,000 page views and 29,000 uniques, the living wage wage 34,000 page views and 29,000 uniques and possible council tax increases had 25,000 page views and 23,000 uniques.

Technologies used for this project:

The interactives are built using HTML, CSS, Javascript, ajax, jQuery, Google maps, with data retrieved with queries to a Google fusion tables. The design is very simple to make updating them for different topics very quick, in most cases just the data and the text needs to change. They are flexible in terms of the data needed to be inputted, based on postcode searches, as we have found this is the most useful way of searching for a location for most people, the look up files used can be switched between geographies such as local authorities or output areas. The Trinity Mirror Data Unit is a team of five data journalists, a coder and a designer, who work to provide data focused news, graphics and web apps. One of the main day-to-day focuses of the team is to provide analysis of new statistical releases, freedom of information responses and other datasets that can be used as the basis of news stories by the regional and national papers within the group. The data, analysis and, more recently, basic copy for these stories is sent out through an innovative bulletin system, which allows reporters and editors to sign up to receive bulletins (like the one attached) relating to the area and topics that they cover. The information in the bulletin (see attached) can either be used 'as is' as a story, usually for online, or with quotes and local material as part of a bigger package.
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