Teaching Data Journalism In China

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: China, Tutorials

I’ve just returned from a week in China, teaching data journalism to students from all over the country at Fudan University (sponsored by the U.S. China Education Trust).

Helped by a fabulous co-instructor, Yan Lu, we taught them about acquiring data, data wrangling, storytelling, visualization, SQL, mapping, news apps and more.

20161104_112129

The students, working journalists and professors, were quite impressive. Working in groups, they created several data-driven projects of their own — a few of which were publishable after just a few days’ work.

For a mapping exercise, students identified several locations by latitude and longitude.

For a mapping exercise, students identified several locations by latitude and longitude.

Students demo their project related to Chinese perception of the U.S. presidential election.

Students demo their project related to Chinese perception of the U.S. presidential election.

I love China, and it was a real honor to be invited to work with such talented group. 谢谢

Ahead of Vote, Mapping Taiwan’s Presidential Election in 2008

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Policy & Politics

While we watch the GOP candidates vie for their party’s nomination, the Taiwanese (including some of my wife’s family) are voting in presidential elections of their own — a race that could affect the U.S. relationship with the island nation and China: 

Taiwanese voted on Saturday for their next president and parliament, an election being closely monitored by China and the United States as they look for stability in the region at a time of political transition for both superpowers.

The votes will be tallied overnight, but I mapped the regional divide from the last election, in 2008, which propelled nationalist Ma Ying-jeou to power. His Kuomintang party has pushed for warmer relations with China. Four years ago, he defeated Frank Hsieh, of the Democratic Progressive Party, which favors independence from China and a distinct identity from the Middle Kingdom. 

This map shows administrative areas won by both candidates. Ma’s party is stronger in the north, where business groups in large population centers like the capitol of Taipei generally prefer better relations with China: 

This map shows the intensity of Ma’s support in 2008. Again, the regional divide is evident (he won with 58 percent of the vote, so the maps have different totals): 

And here’s Hsieh’s vote: 

We’ll see what happens in the morning in the contest between Ma and pro-independence DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen. Though Ma won easily four years ago, this year’s contest is too close to call. This time, a third-party candidate, James Soong, is in the race. He threatens to pull votes away from Ma’s party, as he did in 2000.

More maps tomorrow…

The World of Newspapers

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Uncategorized

We all know that newspapers are struggling to maintain circulation, and some in the United States have intentionally reduced their distribution in an effort to cut costs and focus on local subscribers (who often are most valued by local advertisers). 

A user on the data visualization service Many Eyes recently created a treemap to display the circulation figures by country and newspaper. Japan and China have the largest newspapers, dwarfing American giants like USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The leader is Yomiuri Shimbun in Tokyo, with a whopping 14 million subscribers. 

Check out the viz

Source