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  •   Dedicated to quality data journalism, visualisation and the craft of digital storytelling.  

    What we do

    About Us

    We’re a group of independent journalists who just love a good story. We’re dedicated to quality journalism and the craft of digital storytelling. While we specialise in data-driven and narrative journalism, we’re a multi-talented bunch able to harness decades of journalism skills, combining them with state-of-the-art programming and presentation to create stories for all sorts of screens. We initiate our own media projects, but we also offer our services to civil society organisations and corporate social responsibility projects with a story to tell.

    Our Initiatives

    Here we offer a selection of our work, just some of the projects we've worked on. For a fuller listing of our projects take a look at our portfolio section.

    Passmark

    Passmark makes schools data accessible so people can see whether South Africa's schools are up to standard.

    Datablog

    We're constantly working with data and experimenting with visualisations. Datablog is our home for these projects as well as guides on working with data.

    Media Picks

    Our weekly email newsletter rounding up the best news and analysis on the changing media industry.

    SA Water Interactive

    In the first part of our series on water we look at South Africa's water storage infrastructure.

    Find out more about what we can do for you  

    Tell me more

    Our Blog

    data journalism

    Essential tips and tools for beginning data journalism

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    As the world of journalism changes many journalists are looking to learn new skills; skills better suited to an industry that is increasingly digitised and visual.  For many that probably entails learning something about data journalism and visualisation. But, if you’re from a strictly printed

    media

    That awkward moment when your competitors use your column to promote their paywall

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    The past couple of years have seen a fair amount of mud-slinging between the Times Media Group (TMG) and Independent Media but this week it reached a new crescendo.
    It began with a piece by Financial Mail’s Ann Crotty in which she asked if Independent

    data journalism, visualisation

    Data Viz: What happens when countries rely on coal to grow their economies?

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Laura Grant and I have just finished a brand new data and visualisation project on the effect coal has on carbon emissions in Bric countries. The data part was all the work of Laura while I spent a lot of time scratching my head of D3.js code (I’m still no expert but I learned a lot).

    hacks, visualisation

    DataViz: Matric 2015 pass rate comparison

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    As part of another, bigger, project I was playing around with some ideas in d3.js and created this simple comparison between the provincial pass rates for Matric 2015 and the national pass average. The blue circle is set to equal 100%, no matter how many students there were in each province. The red circle reflects the pass rate for each province as a percentage.

    New Media

    How a free email newsletter turned a computer programmer into a Newsweek columnist

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Rusty Foster’s Today in Tabs may be heavy on snark, but it also stands at the intersection of some important trends — the retro intimacy of email, the dance of new and old media, and the next wave of aggregation.

    New Media

    What NPR learned about social media journalism in 2015

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    NPR’s social media desk looks back at 2015 and shares some of the many lessons it learned over the course of the year. Put some time aside for this because this is a pretty detailed list of lessons.

    Data

    Six tricks to make your data visualisations look better

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Whatever software you’re using, there’s simply no excuse for accepting the defaults and not trying to make your charts look more professional. But where do you start? It’s easy to look at great design and agree that it’s great, but when you’re looking at an Excel

    Uncategorized

    The Death of ‘Huffpost Live’: How to Fail at Video

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    HuffPost Live is dead. With its eight-hour-a-day streaming network, Huffington Post tried to do what every media company out there is scrambling to figure out: video. But, like too many of its desperate peers, HuffPo did exactly the wrong thing: It aped television news—worse, cable news.

    New Media

    Reuters Institute’s Media, Journalism and Technology Predictions for 2016

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    This year’s key developments will centre on online video, mobile apps and further moves towards distributed content. Mounting problems around online display advertising will lead to a burst of innovation around journalism business models.