Working week, 19-21 December

The week before Christmas (six days to go, eek!) can go either way – people are starting to leave for the holidays, so it’s quieter than normal; or people are desperately trying to file stories weeks in advance so they can relax over Christmas, so it’s busier. And then there are the unpredictable news events like Kim Jong-il’s death, which spark a bit of a research frenzy.

  • 10 Facts on North Korea for the Datablog: The editor is away so asked me to pull together a collection of Datablog stats following the death of Kim Jong-il, announced on Monday morning. I didn’t have time to pop in graphics or images but quite pleased with the end result. We switched the headline because G2 had already launched a similar piece (which I’m sure we could have helped with!).
  • Added the Golden Globes nominations to the Award season 2011-12 Datablog post – Film forgot (unsurprisingly, Thursday is probably their busiest day), so I’ll make sure to check in with them on the day next time. Added the London Critics Circle noms too.
  • From the archive: Finished editing a piece on Churchill’s appearance before Congress (27 Dec 1941), and found a Jan 7 piece from 1970 on sex changes. I had to correct something an eagle-eyed reader spotted on the 20 December piece (1913 – merriest Christmas in history?), too – a transcription error meant we referred to 1/5d instead of 1/2d, and there were a few stray commas and hyphens as well (which happens sometimes when you copy the text of the original, if there’s a mark on the page). We’re all pretty thorough but errors do sometimes slip through! Have to pay more attention in future.
  • Corrections: It’s not often that one of our more dull jobs makes the news! The Guardian has published a correction relating to the claims the Milly Dowler’s voicemails were deleted, which we printed in July based on evidence at the time. We have the mundane task of attaching the correction to all the articles.
  • Trialling Newsvault: I set up a trial of Gale NewsVault following a meeting at Online Information, and it’s really interesting to see another example of a digital archive. It includes the Picture Post, which is referenced in the sex change story I found for From the archive (one of the first cases in the UK told her story to them in 1954). Brilliant to be able to call up the original coverage!
  • Other queries included contact details for Kate Nash, a phone number for an old contact and helping a US high school librarian with a citation for a From the archive piece (more confusing than I first thought!).

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