Wednesday 19 September 2012

A Quick Visual Analysis Of Hackgate Coverage

Firing Cirrus of the Something Awful forums posted this interesting set of graphs looking at coverage of the UK phone hacking scandal:

So there's been a couple of mentions of the network graphs that were put up in the last thread. I'm planning on getting back into working on them, now that I've finally got some time to do so again. Work has been especially hectic in the past six months and in that time there has been a lot revealed that can be mapped out. These two issues combined have resulted in a disastrously complex graph (simple version, last updated at the end of May) because I kept on throwing in extra connections as they arose, without any real plan or theory. The new plan is a focus on clarity and smaller networks that can be interlinked, if needed.

In the meantime, I took a look at some different data today as some people have been wondering whether the current revelations are going to have much exposure in the press. I ran a quick search of "phone hacking" in a newspaper archive database and have plotted the number of articles published each month. The graph below shows a y-axis log plot of average number of articles published a day in each month from Jan 2010 (the month before the first CMSC report was published) up until today. As would be expected, spikes in the number of articles match up very nicely with events in this timeline. I've marked a few of the big ones:

I've adjusted the data so it's articles per day because months aren't uniform in length, Spetember isn't finished yet, and I'm a pedant. I've used a log y-axis in that graph because of this:

and just for 'fun' here's how article publication rate about phone hacking fares against article publication about something nicer. There's no correlation, sadly:

Will this new stuff coming out be another bump, like Sean Hoare's? I guess it's just a case of wait-and-see for now. 

Related Articles
Alex Marunchak - Presumed Innocent
The Milly Dowler Hacking - Part 1: Questions Still Unanswered
Operation Tuleta - A Second Look
Some Intriguing Hackgate "Known Unknowns"
BBC News - Lord Mandelson approaches police over 'e-mail hacking'
Daily Telegraph - Investigation over ex-Met chief's missing diary
The Independent - After 25 years and five inquiries, who did murder Daniel Morgan?

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