Fair Warning: New words, algorithms, and newsroom diversity


This week I bought a Dyson 360 Eye (errr, it’s the equivalent of a Roomba) and I am obsessed with how it maps out my flat after a clean. It’s so cute and weird! It’s pretty accurate though.

Like Fair Warning? Subscribe to get it straight to your inbox every Sunday

On the home front

Two great pieces from the ONS Digital team that I wanted to share this week. There’s new ONS data on house prices per square metre in England and Wales, and you can find out how much an extension may add on to the value of your house. Which is pretty cool.

There’s also this piece on child mortality which shows that the UK has slipped down the rankings when comparing neonatal mortality and under-five mortality with other European Union countries. Part of this is that, obviously, countries like Romania, Estonia, and Bulgaria had much worse rates than richer EU states; that’s a given. But actually the rate of change for the UK is much slower than most of the other countries.

I randomly came across this chart while I was searching for something on Our World In Data:

I wrote a couple of stats/data tweet threads this week using UK data. I found some stats for #WorldEggDay (yes that is apparently a thing), #WorldHomelessDay, and international #ComingOutDay. I like to think some people found them interesting if not useful. Maybe not the egg one.

Over the pond

This Google News Lab explorer on diversity in US newsrooms is really good. I confess that I do hate bubble charts, but since the size of the staff is largely irrelevant, it doesn’t really impact on my ability to understand the visualisation. My one takeaway from this: The more women in leadership roles, the more women there are on staff. Hire. More. Women. In. Leadership. Roles.

A figure that I couldn’t help but notice this week: Walmart saved $7 million by shortening the length of its receipts. And $20 million by making a “simple change” to plastic bags. Obviously this is about scale but it shows how tiny changes can really impact the bottom line of big companies.

Trump is far less popular than the economy would predict, says FiveThirtyEight:

Girls are often told they can do things boys can do, but why don’t we start telling boys they can do things that girls traditionally do? Really thoughtful article from the NYT on boy scouts and girl scouts.

I still love this (occasionally updated) piece from WaPo about where Republican senators stand on Donald Trump. The latest update moved Bob Corker down to the bottom. Heh.

Odds and ends

A friend tweeted this album of sorting visualisations which shows how algorithms sort data. There are loads of them and they’re all mesmerising in different ways. I love how this illustrates something which for most people is intangible and hard to grasp.

The La La Land soundtrack is officially depressing — data says so. I’m so glad I have been proved right after all this time.

This probably doesn’t really fall under data but I found it useful during a migraine attack yesterday and am going to use it going forward. A visual chart of the phases of a migraine (source):

Merriam-Webster have a cool little tool that shows you which words were first used in print in any given year. So far, I’ve learned that voluntourism (argh!) is 17 years old, the term “dust bunny” is as old as my mum, and that “hidey-hole” was first used 100 years ago. Pretty awesome.

Bad chart of the week

I saw this on my timeline courtesy of Max Roser, and it’s awful and I think it must be a mistake:

That’s all for this week, thank you for reading! If you like this newsletter, please forward it to people, encourage friends to subscribe to it, or buy me a coffee to show your appreciation. I’m on Twitter @SophieWarnes.

Like what you read? Give Sophie Warnes a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.