Open Data Manchester – November Meeting

November’s Open Data Manchester.

Paul Gallagher – Head of Online for Manchester Evening News gave a presentation regarding the role of the MEN during the Manchester Riots. He described how the Manchester Evening News had used Social Media during the riots and how his team had started to collect data regarding the riots and the subsequent court cases to give insight into some of the possible causes of the riots.

Most interesting was the resources that the MEN had put into reporting on the court cases following the riots and by having court reporters sitting in on each of the trials they created a schema and dataset show the areas that people lived in, mitigating circumstances, age, type of offence, sentence etc. This is data that can only be created if you attend the trail. This allowed them to map offences against depravation indices and changes in the way that sentencing was delivered over the course of the trials.

The discussion also touched on news organisations becoming huge archives of sentencing data and how this can effect people’s lives even after their convictions have been struck off. MEN does have a policy where certain details are redacted from the historical archive but this is done on a case by case basis.

There was also an update as to the preparations for the International Open Data Hackday and the responses to the Governments Open Data and Public Data Corporation consultations.