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


    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  

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    Our Blog

    data journalism, Passmark, visualisation

    Data project: Asbestos in Gauteng schools

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    There are more than 200 schools in Gauteng that are built partially or fully from asbestos, a construction material banned in South Africa and a known cause of cancer. Of these, 29 of the schools are built entirely of asbestos, and should be replaced according

    data journalism, Journalism Toolbox

    The beginner’s guide to extracting data from PDFs

    Posted By Laura Grant

    This is part 3 of an occasional series on useful tools for data journalists. You can see all the other parts in the series here: The Journalism Toolbox.
    Journalists get lots of data in PDF format – they can be tables of data that are

    data journalism, Journalism Toolbox, new media tools, visualisation

    A mapping toolbox for journalists: 10+ tools worth checking out

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    This is part 2 of an occasional series on useful tools for data journalists. Part 1: Want to be a data journalist? Learn these important tools or see all the other parts in the series here: The Journalism Toolbox
    Maps are one of the most popular

    Data, data journalism, visualisation

    Visualising the price of petrol

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    For some time now I’ve been working on some ideas around presenting the monthly fluctuation in the petrol price in an easy-to-understand and interactive form. For many people the sudden and seemingly volatile changes in the petrol price inspire thoughts of conspiracy (clearly government is

    Data, data journalism, visualisation

    Visual storytelling: The story of South Africa’s water

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    In the second-half of 2016, and early 2917, South Africa endured one of its worst droughts in close on 30 years. Coming so close on the heels of the previous year’s severe drought it got me thinking. Most of us grow up knowing that South

    data journalism, Journalism Toolbox

    Essential tips and tools for beginning data journalism

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    This is part 1 of an occasional series looking at useful tools for journalists. You can find the rest of the series here: The Journalism Toolbox
    As the world of journalism changes many journalists are looking to learn new skills; skills better suited to an industry


    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.

    The business of journalism is changing rapidly. Media Hack tracks these changes and delivers news, tips and insight directly to your inbox, every week.
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