The Herald launches data journalism site

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The New Zealand Herald has today launched its new data-journalism website Insights – a further demonstration, says managing editor Shayne Currie, of the Herald’s “commitment to in-depth journalism and new forms of storytelling”.

Currie says that while the Herald has been delivering data journalism for some time, the plan was always to formalise its importance and prominence with a dedicated website,, which is now live.

“The world we live in means there is no shortage of data,” Currie said. “By using technology and investing in specialist skills over the past 12 months, the Herald has been able to report on stories in a much more interesting and compelling way via the use of data and statistics.

“It’s resulting in high standards of in-depth analysis and enables us to explain issues in a way that is easier to understand and for our audience to appreciate their significance.”

Data editor Harkanwal Singh says data journalism uses data as a source for stories rather than anecdotes. “Stories are told through text, interactive graphics and maps – Herald Insights gives our readers the ability to dig deep into data that matters to New Zealanders,” Singh said.

We will give you context behind the data and help you understand the numbers driving the news.

“We have presented real-time election results for every polling booth (, a visualisation showing the historical dominance of All Blacks (, a tool to explore electoral donations and an interactive map showing religious diversity in every suburb of the country.

“And today we are presenting a new interactive where you can explore how ethnic makeup of your neighbourhood in Auckland is projected to change by 2038. The interactive also shows projections for every territorial authority in the country.”

The election booth data visualisation won the NZ Herald the Best Multimedia Storytelling category at the 2015 Canon Media Awards. “It is a great example of a data journalism project that highly engaged our readers,” says Currie.

“The average amount of time spent on the article was six minutes – and there were very few words. It was all about the way the data was delivered and how it informed readers.”

Another example is a data visualisation that breaks down the Government’s Budget spending (

“Very quickly you gain an understanding of how much is consumed by Social Services and how that compares to Education, Health, Police or the Environment,”Currie said. “It entices the reader and informs them in a different way to a standard graph.

“Data journalism allows us to keep innovating with our content and it’s also highly popular material that can be shared through social platforms.”

The Rugby World Cup has also created opportunities for data journalism with one of the most popular articles focusing on where each of New Zealand’s 1133 All Blacks was born.

Currie says sports editor at large Dylan Cleaver and data editor Harkanwal Singh led the collaboration.

“Dylan was looking at the Herald’s overall coverage in the lead-up to the Rugby World Cup and thought this would be of interest to our audience. Working with Harkanwal and his team it becomes a reality.

“People have been very keen to see which small New Zealand town produces the most All Blacks or how many their own town can boast. Graphically, it’s so much more interesting and as a result becomes the topic of conversation around the table or at work.”

NZME group revenue director Laura Maxwell says content created with data-journalism is generating interest from advertising agencies which opens up opportunities for revenue generation.

“Herald Insights represents everything that is great about digital media by delivering personally relevant information in a highly interactive way. In doing so it creates new immersive and creative opportunities for advertisers to align with these engaged audiences.”

Insights is located on the homepage of (at and through

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