Week 11 ECharts for Data Visualization

屏幕快照 2017-06-02 下午10.39.28Data visualization can make the cumbersome content be simple, the boring content be vivid, the abstract concept be specific. This is why data visualization has been concerned and discussed for nearly a decade. Data visualization is widely used by the journalism industry. Therefore, as a student of journalism, it is necessary to choose a suitable data visualization tool.

Data journalism is inseparable from the visualization of data, most of data news use infographics as a visual carrier, but if you need to show more complex data, or want to show in a more fresh way, allowing your readers to interact with the data you show to them, you may need to use some interactive charts. EChart can meet almost all demand of usage of data visualization in journalism industry.

ECharts is a product of Baidu, one of China’s three major Internet companies, it is a free Javascript chart library, you can run it smoothly on both PC and mobile devices, and it is compatible with most of the current browser. Moreover, the current version, ECharts 3 has more rich interactive features and more visual effects.

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Opinions of EChart’s Users 屏幕快照 2017-06-02 下午11.05.06

Features of EChart

Although EChart is a product developed by the Chinese internet company, but it has an English version, and I found that many people outside China are using it or show their interest in EChart. To be honest, it makes me feel very happy as a Chinese,  good software should be shared for everyone to know.

Pictures Sources: https://ecomfe.github.io/echarts/index-en.html


Week 10 Newsgame: Case Study of “Syrian Journey”

In the past three semesters, I have learned a lot about Journalism, and I also chose “MDIA5027 Promotional Games” as an elective course. Therefore, I have a certain degree of understanding of Journalism and Serious Game. The topic of this week’s lecture is Data Journalism. In particular, I prefer to talk about “newsgame” which has been introduced by lecture video because this is the first time I hear about it and I think it is very interesting.

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This is a slide from online lecture video of Week 10, multiple definitions of newsgame have been provided by experts and scholars. In my opinion, actual cases are more helpful than the definition to help us understand what is “newsgame”.

Today, many international front-line media use newsgame as a new way to make readers be more interested in the news. For example, BBC Digital launched “Syrian Journey” when the Syrian refugee crisis swept across Europe. In the game, the identity of the player is an ordinary Syrian refugee. Players need to make a series of options, such as escape routes, and escape strategy. This newsgame is very successful in journalism industry, but it has also been questioned. Some people think that using game to show the tragic fate of refugees is not ethical and the gamification of this kind of news will reduce the seriousness of journalism. And even some people think that this game only used news about refugees to attract attention, in essence, it is just a common survival game. I don’t fully agree with these views, but I think these interesting arguments can contribute to development of newsgame.

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Picture Source:Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route


Week 9 Network Effects in Waze

This week, we have learnt about network effects. Network Effects is “the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people. When a network effect is present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it.”

Waze, a map app acquired by Google can be seen as a good case to reflect network effects. Waze is a user-generated map, users of Waze know about the traffic situation through Waze, and they also provide real-time data of traffic situation to Waze.

Smart Waze Guided Tour

 by . Smart Communication, Inc.

An anonymous netizen shared that  “Waze is benefits from both direct and indirect network effects.” On the one hand, the network effect is direct for users of Waze. They can increase the value of Waze via join in Waze or invite more people join in this platform. More users may bring more traffic information and expand the coverage of the map. And more useful real-time traffic information may attract more users and make them feel happy to recommend their family members and friends join in this platform. On the other hand, users and advertisers on Waze platform can cause indirect network effect. More users can increase the value of advertising on Waze. Also, more adverting may provide more useful local-based information or discount via Waze, it is convenient and beneficial to users of Waze.



Week 8 Fan Culture And Copyright

According to online lecture and related example on Moodle. I have known about “Scanlation”. Lee (2009) defined scanlation as a phenomenon that enthusiastic fans scan  comic titles, translate them from Japanese to another languages and publish them online for free. This behavior makes more overseas fans see Japanese comics faster and more easily, but it can not be ignored that this behaviour may involve copyright issues at the same time.

Another fan culture similar to scanlation is fans subtitle group, or known as “Fansubs”.It is a phenomenon that a group of people volunteered to gather, translate movies and TV series and add other language subtitles. To publish a fansub video is not a simple process. According to Hatcher (2007), it takes a lot of steps to complete this work, such as raw acquisition, translation, timing, editing, typesetting, quality control, encoding and distribution.Fans groups do these things without any benefits aim, it is very rare, but it does not change the fact- their behaviour is illegal.

Some media platforms, such as youtube, always try to manage fansubs phenomenon, I found that when the fansubs works uploaded to youtube, about a few hours will be youtube automatically deleted. This may cause inconvenience to fans who want to see foreign language works, but it is a good measure to respect the copyright.

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A Chinese Music Video with Fans-made Vietnam Subtitles Has Delated by Youtube


There are some fans, took more serious consequences because of making fansubs. In September of last year, two Chinese fansubs group members were arrested in Japan. The police in Kyoto, Japan claimed that these two fans have confessed to uploading and publishing Japanese animes on the Internet, which violated the country’s national Copyright Law.


Week 7 UGC and Digital News Platform

Following the development of technology, a wide variety of digital devices are used in daily life of people. According to content of this week’s online lecture. I found that people would use different digital devices in different time periods and occasions. For example, most people choose to use computer during working time. But at other times, people prefer to use portable devices to read news. Due to the change of people’s reading habit, traditional media have to face to impacts and challenges caused by digital media and journalists have to provide news content which is multiplatform-friendly.

UC News is a digital news platform which provide services to both PC and mobile devices. It is the first batch of media platform, which provide cross-platform news in China. Today, UC News even provides news content in Indonesia. UC News has it own news website, news plugin in mobile browser apps, mobile-friendly website  and news apps of both Apple and Android. In Addition, UC News Indonesia even publishes news content on YouTube. From a technical level, UC News can be seen as an excellent digital news platform. However, it also has many problems that can not be ignored.

UC News on Different Platforms

The problem is the authenticity of the news on UC News are not guaranteed. The reason for this problem is because UC News allows users and self-media to upload news content to the platform, but UC does not supervise them effectively and seriously.

In my view, although UGC provide a new source to journalism and increase interactivity to readers, but also make the news environment complicated and chaotic. Therefore, News platform should strengthen supervision, and readers like us should also learn to identify the authenticity of the news in this digital generation.


Week 6 The History of The Internet And Geotagging Used in Weibo

In this week, the history of  the internet has been introduced by online lecture. From 1967, Larry Roberts organized discussions on the ARPANET design, and for the next two decades, the networks were mainly used in serious areas such as academia and military. Until the nineties, the network was widely used in daily life among the ordinary people. In the next 20 years, different companies have launched more and more optimised browser, such as Safari by Apple and Chrome by Google.

Following the development of internet technology, the generation of Web 1.0 has been changed to Web 2.0. According to my understanding, Web 1.0, is based on the browser, the user can obtain content via the browser; and Web2.0 is based on Web 1.0, and increase user interaction, the user is both the network information receivers, but also the network content manufacturers. As a result, more and more social platforms have emerged, especially in China, with a population of 1.4 billion, there are so many social media  platform in different forms and used by a large number of users. For example, Sina Weibo can be seen as one of the most popular social platforms in China. According to a news from BBC (Twitter user numbers overtaken by China’s Sina Weibo), “Weibo has 340 million active monthly users…About 154 million people use the site daily.”

I am also a Weibo user, geotagging function has been in Weibo for several years. This function is very useful, and I guess it will still be a trend in the next few years. Here I use a few screenshots to briefly introduce the geographical location function applied in Weibo.

1. “Discover” function allows users to search for nearby users.

2. By searching and using a tag with a location, users can see and share posts from/to other users who have visited these places.

3.When you search for place names + 旅行(Travel), or turn on location services on Weibo, the system will recommend flight tickets, local attractions and hotels.


Week5 Funds, Journalism And Journalist

Funds are pretty important to journalism industry. Changes in funding could affect journalistic practice. For example digital journalists need different digital know-hows and traditional job markets are tougher, but has more chances for creating new outlets, etc. There are three main funding sources illustrated by online lecture: donations, sponsors and some traditional media try to fund new journalistic practice.

The example of Global Voices use attracted both donations and sponsors as its funding sources. It has 1200 volunteers around world and translates interesting news to more than 30 languages in 167 countries, it is really a big project. Moreover, Global Voices is a nonprofit foundation and never takes grants from government. In my opinion, it can avoid its news has any political inclination because of government investment.

Also from online lecture, we could find that entrepreneurial journalism can be seen as a new paradigm. DeMasi (2013) considered that this paradigm encourages graduate students and working journalists to become business people. He illustrated that “journalists need not sacrifice core values of independence, truth-telling and impartiality if they choose to become business owners”. These finding provides a lot of inspiration to Journalism student in future career.


Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) funded by Chinese government and  mainly reports government policies

Most mainstream journalism organisation in China is funded by government, Bob Dietz have raised questions about the freedom of the foreign press in China.

Indeed, according to some research about Chinese Journalist “Chinese Investigative Journalists’ Dreams: Autonomy, Agency, and Voice”, due to the different national conditions, a lot of Chinese journalists and graduates of journalism major are more inclined to enter the government funding journalism organization, because it is more “stable”. However, following the development of society, more and more young Chinese people are willing to express new ideas on different platform. It is really a good trend to Chinese journalism industry.