Innovators in Data Journalism: An Interview with Ding Miao

August 2, 2018

Topic(s):

Ding Miao specializes in data journalism at China’s Caixin Media Company. She is an alumnus of USCET’s Data Journalism Workshop.

Q: How did you become interested in data journalism?

A: Caixin’s Center of Data Journalism had a workshop at my school, and I attended it and thought it was interesting. Later, I went to Caixin Shuzishuo to intern, and I became more acquainted with data journalism. I thought it was so interesting I decided to work there. Data journalism allows me to be creative, and it is an exciting, fast-paced field.

Q: Could you tell us about a piece you worked on that you’re proud of?

A: I would like to talk about a piece I published in 2017. It’s called “187 Faces in the Anti-Corruption Campaign.” This piece has a few distinguishing characteristics; one of them is that it has a self-built database. The accumulation of senior political reporters here at Caixin allowed us to have a pool of “raw materials.” The second characteristic is that it focused on those officials who were high-profile (who were assisting roles of ministries or provinces, or equivalents). There’s a part that shows all the officials’ roles, and there’s an individual case study for each of them. As a whole, the visualization provided a big picture of what was happening in the campaign. Another characteristic is that it also supports viewing on mobile devices, so readers can either do an in-depth reading on the PC, or can look at it on mobile devices.

Q: What resources do you use to keep learning?

A: I browse data journalism websites, such as ThePudding. Also, I read foreign media that are good at data journalism, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, ProPublica. I also follow some high profile data journalists on Twitter.

Q: Could you tell us about how data journalism is conducted at Caixin?

A: We work in teams. Journalists mainly work on choosing topics, collecting and analyzing data, planning projects, and drafting articles. We have engineers and designers doing the programming and designing part, but they can provide topics too.

 

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丁苗是中国财新传媒有限公司的数据记者,同时也是USCET数据新闻工作室的校友。

问题1:你是如何对数据新闻感兴趣的?

财新数据新闻中心曾在我的学校开工作坊,我当时有幸旁听,觉得非常有意思。之后,我在财新数字说做实习,使得我对数据新闻更加感兴趣了。深入接触数据新闻后仍然感觉非常有兴趣,就选择留下来工作。数据新闻可以让我更加有创造力,同时也充满活力。

问题2: 可以分享一篇你感到自豪的文章吗?

我想分享一下我在2017年发表的一篇文章 - 《反腐·187张面孔》。这篇文章有几个特点。一是自建数据库。作为财新时政资深记者,平日的积累使得我有了充分的“原材料”。第二点是选择了级别在中管以上的落马官员作为切入点,既有整体亮相,也有个案分析,较为完整的展示了反腐层面的动态。最后一个特点是它提供移动客户端,读者们可以选择在PC上或者移动客户端上进行深度阅读。

问题3:你平时都用什么资源进行学习?

我会浏览一些数据新闻网站,例如the Pudding。还会阅读一些数据新闻做得好的外国媒体比如纽约时报、卫报、ProPublica等。同时也会在推特上关注一些数据新闻做得好的记者。

问题4:财新是如何运用数据新闻的?

我们主要是运用团队协作的模式。记者主要负责选题策划、数据搜集分析、项目统筹、撰稿等。我们有专门的工程师和设计师负责设计方面的工作,但是他们也会给记者提供选题。