Posts Tagged ‘UN’

Here is a Wordle of Ban Ki-moon’s opening remarks at press conference following his visit to the flood-affected zones in Pakistan

Stay tuned for more UN speeches, hopefully with timeline. The text of the speech has been cleaned with words like “of”, “and”, “the”, etc removed. The easiest way I’ve found is to copy the text into Word and use the ‘Find’  (Ctrl/Cmd F)function. Select the ‘Replace’ tab. Go to ‘More’ and tick the ‘Find whole words only’. Then input the words you want to get rid of and hit ‘Replace All’. Just leave the ‘Replace with:’ bar blank and the words you want gotten rid of will be replaced by a space and so will be out of your wordle.

If you know of a quicker way to do this using freeware do let me (and my followers) know.

Numerical information is becoming more and more important in news reporting. This is not only due to interactive web abilities (I’ll write another post on this) but because big news is news of scale.

For instance, the floods in Pakistan are now being put into context with figures. The number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan exceeds 13 million — more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami,  the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the United Nations said Monday (09/08/10). These figures are headline news even though it’s not new. We’ve just been given new context.

The scale of disasters are usually revealed in the aftermath. The clean up. That point in time when news cameras tend to move on. When donations tend to peter. But putting an ongoing disaster in terms of recent ones where images are fresh in people mind and scale is concretized in a pocket of their cerebral lobes is an effective way of getting people to give and keeping the story in the news (which is obviously the UN’s agenda).

It’s a shame that news organizations don’t just do it on their own. It’s not that hard. In fact, I’m going to give it a try! But data of scale generally come from press releases as in this case. DIY data is the niche of a few good news orgianizations.

For instance, check out this visualization from the ever impressive Guardian Data Blog. Not only does it give a good comparison of the amount of money donated, it gives the funding per head of population. Because generosity is not just how much you give the how much of what you have that you can give. I also like the prettier (i.e. not just circles) Weather Crisis 2010 map.

Pictures truely paint a thousand words but interactives make 3D movies. And the best data is shared data! Thank you Simon Rogers.