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Data journalism scoop for MEN on August rioters

The Manchester Evening News has scored another data journalism scoop after analysing how the courts dealt with the August rioters.

Since the summer, MEN journalists have covered more than 100 cases, following what happened to each of those brought before the courts in connection with the disturbances.

Now they have carried out an analysis of the cases to build up a comprehensive picture of how the courts have punished the rioters and looters.

It revealed that those sentenced in the fortnight immediately after the riots were given 30pc longer sentences than those dealt with later – generating a splash in last Friday’s paper.

The team also analysed the data to create a detailed profile of the looters which has also been placed online.

This revealed, for instance, that only 17pc of the rioters were female, and that 45pc of them came from areas ranked among the 10pc most deprived areas of the country.

It constitutes another notable piece of research by the Trinity Mirror-owned title which won the Digital Innovation of the Year prize at this year’s Regional Press Awards for its ‘Police 24′ initiative.

On that occasion, a team of MEN journalists analysed 3,000 tweets by their local police force to produce a comprehensive database of one day’s crime.

The paper’s head of online content Paul Gallagher told HTFP:  “MEN journalists have covered 101 cases right the way through the courts from first appearance to sentence.  We are the only news organisation to do this and it has required a huge investment of editorial resource.

“It has produced a strong news line and thrown up some more interesting information that can be fed back into the public debate on the causes of the riots.”

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  • November 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Fascinating stuff, particularly the revelation that 45pc of the Manchester and Salford rioters came from areas ranked among the 10pc most deprived areas of the country.
    Perhaps the MEN can now embark on further investigative projects such as whether the Pope is a Catholic, and whether bears s**t in the woods.

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