TOPIC STREAM 10: Data Journalism and Visualisation

The Data Journalism and Data Visualization stream combines two closely-related disciplines for hands-on practical sessions, discussions, demonstrations and debates. The stream will kick off on Monday with two satellite events, Visualizing Knowledge and Hacks/Hackers Helsinki. During the festival itself, join us to learn how to make data pretty, with tools demos and a session on using APIs for journalists. Join the debates on how to bring data journalism in the newsroom and make open data mainstream, and on how to use it to track powerful influence groups in the media. Our week ends with a Hackday co-organized with Helsingin Sanomat, pioneers of combining Open Data and Journalism in Finland. Whether you are a Hack, a Hacker or an interested bystander, we’ll make you into a data journalist – join us!

Featured Speakers

There are plenty of inspiring speakers sharing their thoughts during the sessions and satellite events of  the Data journalism and Visualization -topic stream. Three of them Simon Rogers, Farida Vis and Hans Rosling are listed as featured spekers for the whole Open Knowledge Festival.

Farida Vis and Simon Rogers will be visiting also the national public broadcasting company Yle on Wednesday 19.9. And Yle will stream their presentations and Q & A online in this address (starting at 8:55 in the morning Finnish time).


Simon Rogers is editor of the Guardian Datablog (Twitter @GuardianData) – probably the world’s most popular data journalism website. He was closely involved in the Guardian’s exercise to crowdsource 450,000 MP expenses records and the organisation’s coverage of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wikileaks war logs.

See the session page: Datajournalism in the Newsroom for more information on Simon Rogers.


Vis is giving a keynote on Tues, 18th Sept at the INSPIRE Morning Plenary as well as speaking on Tues, 18th Sept from 14:00-15:30 in the session ”Power and the Powerless in the Media” in 8th Floor Auditorium as a part of the Data Journalism and Visualisation topic stream. Vis is also participating Mon, 17th Sept on Visualizing knowledge satellite in Aalto University School of Business Main Auditorium.

See the session page: Power and the Powerless in the Media for more information on Farida Vis.


Hans Rosling will be speaking Thurs, Sept 20th at 18.00 in the INSPIRE auditorium as a part of the Data Journalism and Visualisation Topic Stream programme.

>> VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (start time around 33:00 )

See featured speakers page for more information on Hans Rosling.

Finalised Programming

Don’t miss the satellite events! - listed further below

Session #1 Datajournalism in the Newsroom

Tuesday 18th September 11:30 - 13:00  /  Session host: Johanna Vehkoo

Simon Rogers, Guardian, Open data journalism at The Guardian (>> PRESENTATION SLIDES)

Esa Mäkinen, Helsingin Sanomat

>> VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (start time 21:40, Simon Rogers 23:40, Esa Mäkinen 1:15:10)

Session #2 Power and the Powerless in the Media

Tuesday 18th September 14:00 - 15:30 / Session host: Jens Finnäs

>> VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (start time 6:25)

Session #3 Practical Tools for Visualization

Tuesday 18th September 16:00 - 17:30 / Session host: Juuso Koponen

>> VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (start time 0:00)

Session #4 - Discovering Data and Putting it into Action

Tuesday 18th September 18:00 - 19:30 / Session host: Miska Knapek

>> VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (start time 6:00)

Session #5 - Hans Rosling

Thursday 20th September 18:00 - 19:00 / Session host: Miska Knapek

>> VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (start time 32:25)

Satellite events


Tieto näkyväksi

Monday 17th A seminar on making information visible, with lots of great speakers, with backgrounds in science, art, design and journalism, on datavisualisation and information design. Including Jer Thorp and Mortiz Stefaner, and a good selection of Finnish counterparts, Ville Tietäväinen, Kimmo Vehkalahti, Paula Ahonen-Rainio, Tuomas Siitonen. More information and speakers:


Monday / after Tieto näkyväksi (the event above) /  17th 18:00 - / Location: to be confirmed

Organiser: Johanna Vehkoo / hacks n’ hackers helsinki - / hacks n hackers facebook page /  @hackshackershki / hacks n hackers international

Hacks/Hackers is a space for journalists and coders/developers/hackers to meet and create new things together. Join us for en evening of lightning talks and more in-depth looks into the field of data and journalism. Speakers awaiting confirmation.

HS Open Data Journalism Hackathon

Friday 11:30 - 19:30  /  Session hosts: Esa Mäkinen & Antti Poikola

The goal for each group is to make an News Application that tells a visual story on a global topic such as health, children’s welfare or inequality around the world. News Application can also crowdsource data or be a game. A good goal for the day is to produce 560×400 pixel application that can be embedded into any web page. In the previous Hackathons, some of the best applications have been bought and published by Helsingin Sanomat. For the Finnish speaking audience the data journalism -blog HSnext is good source of information. More information and registration here!

Participant Testimonials:

“This field of journalism is developing at an incredible pace. Our ambition is that the data journalism and visualization stream at OKFest will bring you up to par with some of the most exciting trends in the field.” Jens Finnäs, Data journalist, Sveriges Radio/Freelancer

“Data journalism and data visualization hold the promise of becoming defining new elements in the journalism of the 2010s. It is fantastic to be a part of this emerging new field and to have the honor of showcasing some of the interesting things happening right now.” Juuso Koponen, Graphic designer and writer,

Guest Programme Planners:

  • Juuso Koponen: I’m a graphic designer specializing in information graphics and datavisualization. With a few colleagues, I run a Finnish-language blog on the topic (, teach at Aalto University School of Art, Design & Architecture etc. We are also organizing a ”TED-like” (i.e. compact presentations by experts aimed at non-experts) conference on information design and visualization on September 17th as an OKFest satellite event (see above).
  • Antti Poikola also known as Jogi: Active in eParticipation and Open Data, movements in Finland and Europe. I have been teaching data journalism tools for journalists (last autumn and this spring), I host and I co-organized last year the day of datajournalism in Tampere
  • Lucy Chambers: Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation - working on and the Data Journalism Handbook, now helping out with the Open Government side of OKFestival.
  • Jens Finnäs: Finnish datajournalist based in Stockholm. Works part time at Sveriges Radio and part time as a freelancer. Blogging about datajournalism at
  • Johanna Vehkoo:  Co-founder of Hacks/Hackers Helsinki. Freelance writer and future-of-journalism preacher. Twitter: @vehkoo, blog: .
  • Miska Knapek: A Danish-Czech information/interaction/visualisation designer based in Helsinki. I’m part of the WeLoveOpenData group ( ) promoting / workshopping about Open Data, information visualisation and Open Design, helped initiate the Aalto Fablab. Personal work: Twitter: @miskaknapek .