BBC Data Day, Linked Data and more

BBC Data Day


The second Data Day was held on the November 12th in New Broadcasting House, and was, as expected, extremely interesting. Speakers came from the BBC and from other news organisations around Britain to talk about data-journalism and new technologies.

Among many others, Robin Pembrooke, Head of Product BBC News & Weather Online, introduced early in the morning our work around Linked Data and how we’re pushing this once elitist and abstract discipline to production and to serve our audiences.

Later in the afternoon, Matt walked the attendees through some of the Labs’ activities: from the Juicer and linked data works to Datastringer, our futuristic research about Neurotech responses to news, as well as all the language tech we’re exploring.

And, as usual, he invited everybody to pop in our offices in Euston to meet the team!

You can find some bits and pieces from the talks by having a look at the #BBCDataDay hashtag on Twitter - a blog post about the best of it may or may not follow.

Congratulations to James Richards for putting the event together!


This is a BBC-only (internal) pilot at the moment and is behind password outside of the BBC, but if you are interested please email us at with the title “radar”.

This is how James Richards announced it:

We offer news, commentary and analysis on the best and most interesting innovation from the world of online news and journalism. As well as profiles of what’s happening online we’ll also be looking at emerging trends, technologies, audience behaviors and policies from the wider world, that affect and influence how we all find and report the news.

News Labs Radar acts like an early warning system to flag up the interesting and the unusual from the BBC and beyond. We’ll be profiling the work of some of the most thoughtful and influential practitioners in the area of news innovation as well as asking them their opinion on what to look at now, and what they believe is coming down the track. Keeping checking in for our regular radar updates and much, much more.

Al Jazeera’s “Media in Context” hackathon

Another great news: part of our staff has been invited by Al Jazeera to participate in their Media in Context hackathon, which will take place from 29th November to 1st December in Doha, Qatar!

Melanie, Basile, and Thomas will fly to Qatar at the end of the month for three days of intense hacking, tinkering, and caffeine absorption around… well, this event description:

This year, the inaugural Canvas hackathon is all about “Media in Context”. Context has always been around us, from where we are, how we are feeling, what time it is, and even our history and culture. How can we apply the idea of context to media and journalism? How do different contexts affect the different phases of media, from production, to distribution, to consumption and interpretation? We believe that exploring new forms of contextually-aware media at this year’s Media in Context hackathon will help us tell a better human story.

More updates later, when the Challenges are published!

SumUp Analytics demo

Oh, by the way, SumUp just sent us a demo they did based on a data dump coming from the Juicer, which plots the occurrences of topics in the news over time.

To check it out, go to and use the code VRgaGSWm.

Once there you will see a top area with a field for a keyword (try “France” or “Drones”), then select a time span using the sliders on the center pane. This will display the occurrence of the term over time. Then click on “Analyze”. This will give you keywords, arranged in 8 topics. Clicking on each topic you will see the corresponding keywords on the left, and a few associated articles on the right. You should observe that each topic has a clear meaning and is distinct from the other topics.

If you feel like hacking around with our data… get in touch with!

Maker Session - teasers

Melanie organised last week our very first Makers Labs session - and it was awesome.

More about it last week, expect videos, tweets, and pictures. In the meantime, we’re just teasing.

makers teaser


To finish on a light note and to conclude this weekly post, congratulations to our Basile, who graduated from his MA in Multimedia Journalism, from the University of Westminster, last Monday! Here is a picture of him in his funny outfit:

I hate myself