Max Harlow

I work on the visual and data journalism team at the Financial Times in London.

I also organise Journocoders, a community of journalists and other people working in the media interested in developing technical skills for use in their reporting.

Clippings

  1. Sleaze will be hard to clean up while the data remains so opaque

    Financial Times

    Opinion piece describing how data published by the government and parliament, ostensibly for transparency, do not actually allow important questions to be answered, inhibiting accountability. Informed by my experience working on an earlier piece looking into MP’s second jobs.

  2. UK government's venture capital fund invests in yachts, yoghurt and jazz

    Financial Times

    Revealed the UK government’s secretive venture capital fund has invested in a Netflix-style streaming service for jazz, a manufacturer of alcoholic teas, a yoghurt bar company, a talent agency for social media influencers and a yacht rental service. I identified 200 companies, including those named in the piece by extracting text from documents.

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Projects

  1. CSV Match

    Finds matches in two spreadsheets, optionally using various fuzzy-matching algorithms. Used by organisations including the Guardian, the Times, and the New Humanitarian who used it to identify a company the United Nations had a contract with who was also on its own sanctions list.

  2. Reconcile

    Enriches data, adding new columns based on lookups to online services. For example, taking a spreadsheet of company numbers and turning it into a list of directors of those companies.

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Talks

  1. How to be a (better) data editor

    Dataharvest 2022Mechelen, Belgium

    As data journalism has become mainstream, more data editor positions have been created. But what makes a good data editor? In this panel we will discuss what it takes to do the job effectively, the different things it can involve, and the different routes to getting there. With Marie-Louise Timcke, Jan Strozyk, Helena Bengtsson, Eva Belmonte, and Dominik Balmer, moderated by me.

  2. Investigative data journalism

    Journalism by Numbers, Birkbeck UniversityLondon, UK

    Guest lecture covering the origins of investigative data journalism, the nature of data in investigations, where it comes from, plus what code is and how it is used in the newsroom to do this kind of work.

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Teaching

  1. Time travel for beginners: how to create and use web archives

    Dataharvest 2022Mechelen, Belgium

    Ever relied upon an online source, only later to find it deleted or changed? This class covers how to get the most out of resources like the Wayback Machine – what they’re good for, and what they’re not. We also cover when and how to build your own private archives of web content.

  2. Web basics: how the web works, and how to scrape it

    Dataharvest 2022Mechelen, Belgium

    Have you ever wondered how exactly your stories reach your readers? Ever wanted to know how to build a simple webpage? Or how to scrape information from the web? This session covers the principles of how web pages get onto your screen, and working with the two key web technologies of HTML and CSS. With Rui Barros.

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