Data Journalism Examples

Turning huge datasets into original content is a key to our success at Fractl. These data journalism examples show how our team digs through an abundance of data to find meaningful stories and new insights.

Instagram Intoxicated

Instagram intoxicated data journalism example

  • Featured Stories: 475
  • Total Domain Authority: 13,226
  • Social Shares:15,810
  • Notable Features: Business Insider, New York Post, Jezebel

For this campaign, we combed through popular celebrity Instagram accounts to pinpoint who posted the most photos as well as who shared the most photos featuring drugs or alcohol. We packaged our findings into an easy-to-digest visual format that confirmed what we already knew: celebrities love to overshare on Instagram, even when they’re doing something illegal or dangerous.

While it was hardly surprising that rappers topped the list for posting the most drug and alcohol-related content, this campaign’s use of fresh data about celebrity behavior on a popular social network appealed to a wide range of publishers and audiences. Additionally, the campaign sparked discussion about the influence of celebrities and the potential consequences of condoning drugs and alcohol to millions of social media followers.

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Tweets by Turf

tweets by turf data journalism example

  • Featured Stories: 145
  • Total Domain Authority: 3,742
  • Social Shares: 4,322
  • Notable Features: Mashable, AV Club, Daily Dot, Bustle, Pixable

For this campaign, we analyzed more than 300,000 tweets containing 30 everyday terms, such as school, family, church, and beer. Using this data, we were able to pinpoint which areas were talking about these topics most frequently.

Similar to an election map, we then created “matchups” of two terms to see which term “won” each state. We ended up with some entertaining and eye-opening matchups such as husband vs. wine, beer vs. sex, and girlfriend vs. wife.

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Drug Talk in Rock

drug talk in rock data journalism example

  • Featured Stories: 278
  • Total Domain Authority: 5,590
  • Social Shares: 3,077

We’ve all heard it: “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.” To figure out if there’s any truth to the phrase, we analyzed more than 15,000 songs to see which musicians reference drugs the most in their music.

We created a visually attractive infographic showing which substances are mentioned most and which artists have the most references. Alcohol took the lead with the most references, while marijuana and cocaine rounded out the top 3.

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Our long-form reporting campaigns use in-depth research to shed light on important issues or reveal new information.

Drug Arrests on College Campuses


  • Featured Stories: 194
  • Total Domain Authority: 6,436
  • Social Shares: 8,535
  • Notable Features: Huffington Post, Chicago Sun Times,,

To better understand which colleges have the most prevalent drug cultures, we examined drug and alcohol-related arrest records and disciplinary actions in college towns. The resulting infographic showed various maps breaking down the cities with the highest concentration of incidents.

Due to the subject matter’s popularity, this was one of three related campaigns we did around this topic. This is a good example of using the same concept to create updated versions as new research emerged.

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Urban Rehabilitations


  • Featured Stories: 82
  • Total Domain Authority: 2,558
  • Social Shares: 2,518
  • Notable Features: The Daily Mail, Search Engine Land,

Rehabilitation is not only for individuals suffering from addiction — entire cities can benefit from efforts to reverse the ill-affects of drug activity.

Google Street View gives people an on-the-ground glimpse into worlds they may never see in real life. Using this technology, we pinpointed neighborhoods ravaged by drug activity that have been revitalized in recent years, including urban areas in Chicago, New York, New Orleans, and Baltimore. The dramatic before and after photos show what’s possible when the community and law enforcement band together to reduce drug-related crimes.

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Visualizing Drug Experiences


  • Featured Stories: 55
  • Total Domain Authority: 1,924
  • Social Shares: 2,545
  • Notable Features: Huffington Post, Business Insider,

To gain a better understanding of the experience of using recreational drugs, we looked at thousands of drug users’ written accounts on Erowid. We conducted extensive linguistic analysis to determine the most common words used and associated with eight of the most used and abused illicit drugs.

The resulting word clouds are visually-stunning and paint a picture of the unique experience of using different drugs, including marijuana, meth, heroin, and mushrooms.

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