vrijdag 20 november 2020

Adverteren in the politiek

 Sociale media hebben de politieke discurs fundamenteel veranderd. Het klassieke communicatiemodel met de journalistiek in het midden als gate keeper heeft plaats gemaakt voor direct communicatie tussen politicus en burger. Twitter en Facebook zijn de twee belangrijkste  sociale media en hebben beide een belangrijke politieke invloed. Via Twitter is bijvoorbeeld te beschrijven hoeveel invloed een twitterende policus heeft aan de hand van het aantal followers/friends. De inhoud van de tweets zegt iets over de standpunten. Eerder heb ik aandacht geschonken aan de tweets van Baudet en Wilders. Facebook pagina's en de volgers geven ook een indruk van de aanhang en standpunten van een partij.

Politieke advertenties op sociale media is een nieuw en groeiend fenomeen. Onlangs publiceerde NRC Handelsblad een insteressante analyse over campagne voeren op Facebook door Trump and Biden. Het artikel is gebaseerd op een analyse van data uit de advertentiedatabase van Facebook. In deze database is het mogelijk te zoeken op: 'issues, elections and politics' per land. Voor Nederland vinden we deze data base bijvoorbeeld voor de VVD gegevens over het totale bedrag dat aan advertenties is uitgegeven. Ook blijkt dat FVD veel geld investeert in dit soort advertenties en de PVV bijna niets.

De verkiezingen zijn pas volgend jaar, maar dit is toch een interessante database om verder te onderzoeken.

vrijdag 6 november 2020

Visualization: and the winner is....

 Data is hot, but without visualization data are not interesting in journalism. The development of new visualization tools goes fast. For years I am using Tableau public for visualizing data. But how about new tools like, PowerBI and Qlik .

In the end they all do the same thing visualizing data in nice graph and maps on dashboards, that can be publicized as a web page. There are differences however, if you don't have the time to try them all and need a comparison between the three software packages, I found the following helpful: Difference Between Power BI vs Tableau vs Qlik. And here is a second one taking R and Shiny into account: https://www.r-bloggers.com/2020/11/3-top-business-intelligence-tools-compared-tableau-powerbi-and-sisense/ 

vrijdag 21 augustus 2020


     Voor RTV Noord maakte ik ter voorbereiding voor een inleiding over datajournalistiek, de volgende screencast over afrikaanse thema's.


dinsdag 11 augustus 2020

KAPWING for online video editing and slide shows

 Just found a nice tool for editing video online and making various slideshow: KAPWING  at https://www.kapwing.com/

It is not rocket science but this video is a fast track how-to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhyusGNX1Ig

Here is an example: a short slideshow with pictures of last years ABSA RHODES data journalism training

zaterdag 1 augustus 2020


From 'he said she said journalism to fact based reporting', that is the mission statement of data journalism. In the digital era, more and more data are produced, providing a basis for policies from the government to corporations and NGOs. By analyzing and visualizing data, journalism would be better in checking policies.Of course journalists need some skills that were formerly not a part of their education. Digitization has changed this, writing and typing, not enough; at least journalists need multimedia skills. And even better a journalist must be able to handle data/figures, analyze and visualize them.
Handling data used to be the exclusive territory of scientist, who know of the ins and outs of statistics and graphs. A lot of things can go wrong in reporting about he facts. Darrell Huff already wrote in the fifties about "How to lie with statistics". His arguments are still valid, but need to be updated. In newspaper and magazine articles, in reports, claims are made that cannot be based on the presented facts. These claims are distorted or even misleading. How to discover this?

Two new books are very helpful.
- Alberto Cairo, professor in visual journalism at the University of Miami, published "How charts lie. Getting smarter about visual information". As a visual designer Cairo focuses on charts, maps and graphs, and give interesting examples how a simple bar graph can be misleading: by shortening the Y axes, difference between let's say the growth rate of the economies of two countries can be enlarged. Or that a 3-D pie graph could be misleading through the perspective. His blog is very helpful to dig deeper in disclosing false visual claims: http://www.thefunctionalart.com/ 

- Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West, both professor at the University of Washington at Seattle, published Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World. Their angle is wider, ranging from visualization to statistics and credibility of journals. "Bullshit is language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence". The book is a product of their lectures. And the good thing is that these lectures, together with the reading list and examples ar online. Their website, https://www.callingbullshit.org/, a goldmine for unveiling distorted information and news.

woensdag 8 juli 2020

WD My Book Live - error:31520

I use a WD My Book Live(MBL) as a NAS more specific as music server. It streams my music to my phone over my LAN and when I am abroad I can listen to the music over the internet using the My Cloud app.

Generally the control light on the MBL is blue, power save mode. A few weeks ago it turned green, meaning a connection; it turned out I could not connect over the internet, but on the LAN it was still working.
Logging into the setup: http://mybooklive/UI/login, settings, remote access I read: cannot establish remote access (error 31520).
 Interesting message....and of course the web has the answer: https://community.wd.com/t/cannot-establish-remote-connection-error-31520/248385/38
To connect from outside the connection is a VPN using a certificate. WD has replaced that certificate, without notification! Solution: o replace the old certificate with the new one.

This will do the trick:

  • enable SSH: http://mybooklive/UI/ssh
  • ssh user@mybooklive
  • go to /usr/local/orion/openvpnclient
  • rename ca.crt to ca.crt.old
  • copy the attached ca.crt.txt and rename to ca.crt
  • chmod 774 ca.crt
  • Set your Remote Access as Automatic on your MyBookLive daskboard and Reboot the My Book Live from the dashboard.
  • You can verify proper operation of the cert by checking the log file using this command cat /var/log/openvpn.out
Working! Problem solved.

vrijdag 12 juni 2020


Preparing for absa/rhodes #datajournalism training. Making an assignment about rising poverty in Africa as a consequence of the corona pandemic.Apart from estimates the basic facts can be found PovcalNet:"an interactive computational tool that allows you to replicate the calculations made by the World Bank's researchers in estimating the extent of absolute poverty in the world". More: http://iresearch.worldbank.org/PovcalNet/home.aspx
You can create your own data tables, download the data in xls format and visualize for example with Tableau or Flourish. More advanced is the use of the R package: povcalnetR and do you own calculations and visualizations in R statistics. Here is example:

maandag 25 mei 2020


That  future does not look very bright, the corona virus pandemic has wounded the media: layoffs, shrinking advertisement and more. Is there a way out for the journalists who want to carry on with the work they are passionate about?
Here are some ideas; first the older ones.

- Start a blog on  topics of your interest and try to make money with advertising; Google Analytics and Google AdSense are helpful for monetizing; and Twitter and or Facebook could assist in attracting readers. However, there are at least 13 reason why blog ads suck for monetizing your site.

- write a e-book and publish it online for a reasonable price: Leanpub is one of the promising possibilities. Writing a book is a lot of work, and selling it as an e-book, even at a low price, is no guarantee for a good income for all that hard work.

- Here is the latest! Start a subscribed newsletter using Substack. “Substack represents a radically different alternative, in which the “media company” is a service and the journalists are in charge “, writes Ben Smith in the NYTimes . The generated income of subscribed e-mail letter is more interesting than Click Through Rate(CTR) for ads on a blog.  Substack charges a transaction fee, which could get high if you are successful. Ghost is an alternative and works with hosting.

donderdag 23 april 2020


Journalism is hard hit by the corona crisis. How will journalism survive? Here is a summary of impressions about the development of (print) journalism in the Western world.

1. Journalism is vital for information in a democracy especially in this corona crisis. Credible information and fighting fake news in the pandemic is a priority. The New York Times almost has a day job in correcting Trump. Journalists should be free to do research, find the facts and interview key persons. Hungary put journalist almost under censorship to fight what is called fake news by the government. The Czech Republic is limiting access of the media to government officials.

2. The demand for credible information is rising, more page views at online media, small rise in subscription. Newspapers sides in the US saw visits to their online news sides doubling.
2.1 Because of the high demand for information some media are making corona news free, for example the New York Times.

3. However the rising demand for information and the surge in page views does not cause an increase in income of the media. Esp print media are losing income because decreasing advertisementsIn the UK for example advertising revenues are taking a massive blow. Some local publishers say they are down by 50%, some national titles by 30%.

4. The consequences of this drop in income is obvious. Newsrooms are closing; journalist are laid off or furloughed; part time contracts are not renewed; and free lance activities are scaled down. A New York Times analysisfound that more than 28,000 news media employees in the United States have been subject to pay cuts, furloughs or layoffs since the corona virus started to spread across the country. In Australia News Corp, the Rupert Murdoch-controlled publishing group, has suspended the print editions of 60 newspapers

5. News media and the journalists are vital for democracy in this crisis, help from the government is unavoidable. Especially local media need help. In Denmark for example the government discussed to allocate around €24m to save local media. The Guardian in the UK writes about an interesting proposal to save journalism as an essential public good. The NUJ launched its own news recovery planwhich suggested a windfall tax of 6% on digital firms.
5.1 Google already understands the problem and is offering help for newsrooms. The company isn’t disclosing the size of what it’s calling its Journalism Emergency Relief Fund, but in a blog post, Google VP of News Richard Gingras said the goal is to fund “thousands of small, medium and local news publishers globally,” through awards ranging from “low thousands of dollars for small hyper-local newsrooms to low tens of thousands for larger newsrooms, with variations per region.”

6. Newsroom could be locked down because of protections measures against the virus but journalist are continuing work. Remote, from home and in small teams.The newsrooms that will survive and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world will be the newsrooms that embrace the shift to distributed teams”, writes Niemanlab . The NYTimes wrote about their changes in the newsroom: “Journalists across more than a dozen departments, and a few continents, are stepping up — and shuffling roles — to meet the challenge”.
6.1 Now that we work remote and online for a longer period traveling will change. Video conferencing proved to more efficient, saving time and money. Zooming in stead of flying. Working on a story together with a small team is a piece of cake using Teams. And finally training data journalism could be helped by using e-learning environments like Moodle.

7In reporting on the pandemic data are vital. Understanding numbers and visualizations are highly demanded qualifications. Data journalismanalyzing data - corona data - with free tools for a wide audience is a top priority.

woensdag 25 maart 2020


On R-bloggers I run into an article "How to create a simple Corona virus dashboard specific to your country in R" (https://www.r-bloggers.com/how-to-create-a-simple-coronavirus-dashboard-specific-to-your-country-in-r/) by a Belgium data scientist Antoine Soetewey. He created his own dashboard  based on data from Johns Hopkins Corona virus resource center (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html). He made the source of his dashboard visualizations public and invites everyone to rewrite it for his own country.

Here is my dashboard for the Netherlands: https://rpubs.com/peterverweij/591967

Here are more resources: "Top 15 R resources on Novel COVID-19 Coronavirus", https://towardsdatascience.com/top-5-r-resources-on-covid-19-coronavirus-1d4c8df6d85f 

maandag 23 maart 2020


Twitter heeft de politieke communicatie veranderd. Ten eerste creëert Twitter een gelijk speelveld. Iedereen kan twitteren. Er is in principe geen onderscheid tussen de participanten, of het nu politici, journalisten of burgers zijn. Een tweede belangrijk effect van Twitter is dat het directe communicatie mogelijk maakt tussen politieke leiders en hun aanhang. De journalistiek als filter en spreekbuis wordt gepasseerd.
De Amerikaanse president Trump heeft het regeren middels Twitter tot een kunst verheven. Ook Nederlandse politici laten zich niet onbetuigd en gebruiken Twitter om direct met hun aanhang te communiceren. Het doel is om een bepaald item op de politieke agenda te zetten of om druk op de besluitvorming uit te oefenen. Twitterpopulisme zou omschreven kunnen worden als een vorm van politieke legitimatie via Twitter en de druk van de Twitter aanhang. In het onderstaande wordt dit populisme in het twittergedrag van een aantal politici nader onderzocht.


(this is a summary of my Dutch articles about twitter populism in the Netherlands)

Twitter is an interesting tool for politicians: it creates possibilities for direct communication with the public. Journalists as intermediary between voters and politicians become obsolete. The American president Trump is using this tool to create government based on populism: surpassing the parliament in decision making or putting pressure on the parliament through direct public support.  In Netherlands two right-wing members of the house of representatives are following this successful communication using Twitter.

Two Faces
I have downloaded and analyzed the tweets of these tow politicians: Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV(freedom party) and Thierry Baudet (forum for democracy). The outcome of this research is that both are right-wing populists. The content of their tweets shows that populism has two faces: a blue collar version(Wilders) and a more intellectual version(Baudet). While Wilders tweets express an open xenophobia; Baudet tweets focus on sovereignty, anti-EU arguments are used to wrap up xenophobia in immigration.

Here is a scatterdiagram showing the tweets of Wilders and Baudet, together with the tweets of leader of the socialists(Asscher and the Greens(Klaver)

(click to enlarge)

Explanation: The position of the documents with tweets of the four politicians are the red circles. The horizontal line is the x dimension, explaining 49% of the variations. I define this dimension as: from xenophobia to identity. The Y axis, explaining 37%, is from cooperation to sovereignty. The beginning and end of both axis are the red squares. These positions can be confirmed by the world clouds

Below you find a link to my data uploaded in Voyant, so you can inspect the data. Click top right to export or choose an other visualisation; click down left to choose a document.

zondag 22 maart 2020


Twitterdata van Wilders, Baudet, Asscher en Klaver geupload naar Voyant.
Hier is de interface voor het maken van analyse en visualisaties.

Rechtsboven verschillende  opties voor analyse; linksonder selecteer documenten.
De gemaakte analyses kunnen ook worden geexporteerd!

(klik op export rechtsboven om te vergroten of andere analyse)

Hieronder een scatterdiagram van de vier twitterbestanden:
(klik om te vergroten)

Toelichting: De positie van de vier documenten met tweets is rood omcirkelt. De eindpunten van de dimensies zijn de rode vierkanten. De x as heb ik geinterpreteerd als: van vreemdelingenhaat naar identiteit; deze as verklaart 49% van de variantie. Y as heb ik opgevat als: van samenwerking naar souvereiniteit; verklaart 37% van de variantie.

woensdag 4 maart 2020


Twitter - mini-blogging or messaging service on the internet - has changed the process of communication. In professional communication networks like for example journalism Twitter is an important new source. Twitter brought fundamental change
in professional political communication networks. The classical model of communication of Berelson and Lazersfeld, known as ‘two step flow of communication,’ seems to have lost it predominance to Twitter. Direct communication to the audiences gained in importance. An important issue in discussion about the consequences of Twitter is the idea of equality in the process of communication. Because in principle the technology behind Twitter does not discriminate between users, whether they are politicians, journalists or ordinary citizens. This equality between users lowers the threshold to participate in the process of communication, and therefore it is said Twitter contributes to democracy. With references to the classical study of Jurgen Habermas about the changes in the public sphere, Twitter could enhance the process of democratic decision making and contribute to open public debate.

This technological optimism about Twitter emerged in the nineties of past century when the Internet was still freely developing. However, in the light of recent developments, especially the rise of populism on Twitter, one can have serious doubts. In this study we will analyze the tweets of two Dutch politicians: Geert Wilders (PVV, Party for Freedom) and Thierry Baudet (FvD, Forum for Democracy), Both parties are relatively new in the Dutch political landscape. They both rose because of the resistance against the neo-liberalism that replaced the traditional party system based on religion and ideology.

donderdag 27 februari 2020


Twitter heeft het communicatieproces fundamenteel veranderd. In professionele communicatienetwerken als de journalistiek  is Twitter een belangrijke nieuwsbron. In politieke netwerken heeft  het klassieke communicatiemodel van Berelsen en Lazarsfeld aan belang ingeboet. Niet meer ‘two step flow’, maar directe communicatie is het trefwoord. Een belangrijk punt in debatten over het effect van Twitter is dat het een gelijk speelveld creëert. Immers, er zijn in principe geen technologische aspecten die een onderscheid maken tussen de participanten, of het nu politici, journalisten of burgers zijn. De verlaging van de drempel schept gelijkheid die ten goede komt aan het democratische proces is de redenering. In die zin zou Twitter bijdragen tot een vergroting van de democratische besluitvorming en publieke discussie, vaak met verwijzingen naar Habermas’ studie over openbaarheid.

Dit technologisch optimisme, dat hand in hand ging het de opkomst van Internet blijkt nauwelijks stand te kunnen houden in het licht van de feitelijke ontwikkelingen. Meer in het bijzonder als we kijken naar het twitteren van Wilders en Baudet.

zondag 16 februari 2020

Protect your Privacy against Surveillance Capitalism

Compared to China we are doing much better, most people think. Here the government is not watching us like a digital big brother. Using face recognition on each corner, watching your online behavior and storing all these data in file. This only partly true as here the big tech companies are watching us; surveillance capitalism by Facebook Google and the like. Our digital data, our wanderings on the internet are collected, exchanged and sold, for advertising and finally to make money. Data as silicon snake oil. Also here your privacy is under attack.
Some time ago I down loaded some location data collected by Google and it was scary to see details of my whereabouts. Here is the story with the maps(http://d3-media.blogspot.com/2018/09/google-data-traveling-back-in-time.html).
How can you protect yourself against this breach of privacy?