Lecture 5 – Part 3: Data Journalism in action – The London Olympics 2012

As we know, during the olympics there’s an obsession between each country to compare the amount of medals won.

With this, Rogers (2013) and his team thought, “What if you could see those medal tables with other types of data, what if you could weigh those medals by population or team size? Because if a small, poor country wins five gold medals, it’s got to be worth more than a rich country winning five gold medals.”

Screenshot 2016-08-22 15.19.45
(The Guardian, 2013)

Screenshot 2016-08-22 17.06.09
(The Guardian, 2013)

With the help of Professor Anagonostopoulos (academic statistician) and Blight (interactive designer), the team created a data blog with the results of the medal tally and designed it into a data visualisation which ran through a Google spreadsheet. This meant the visualisation could update live according to the change in medals won each day. Here is an example of what it looked like.

Screenshot 2016-08-22 17.11.31
(The Guardian, 2013)

It was received well by the public and initiated discussion around why certain countries were successful in certain sports which was especially interesting when comparing what was considered a rich or poor country.

The video ended up a quote from Roger (2013) who stated, “The nice thing about it, is that it allows you to explore and find certain countries that interest you and see its performance compared to other variables. That endless content is what marks out data journalism, whereas data visualisation allows people to [engage deeper] with the data itself.”

This last clip interested me most out of the three parts to this lecture. I like how it took data that was already successful in engaging an audience and gave it variables amount of new meaning. In turn, it created a larger audience and gave more recognition to poorer countries who were successful in gaining either a small or large amount of medals. This proves the amount of power data visualisation can give.


The Guardian. (Writer and Producer). (2013). Data journalism in action: the London olympics [Motion Picture]. London: The Guardian YouTube.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s