The Czechitas Digital Academy is built upon providing the knowledge and skills necessary for the work of data analysts. Apify closely cooperates with Czechitas by mentoring students and teaching them about data scraping. Good results have been delivered by a project called Terror or Clickbait, the aim of which is to provide an interactive dashboard demonstrating how the Czech media covers terrorism.
Below, the Czechitas students involved in the project describe their overwhelmingly positive experience with the Apify platform.
The media have powerful tools to shape public opinion, and selective data can result in wrong inferences and wrong decisions. Taking this into consideration, we decided to show the reality of terrorism through the lens of data. The perfect tool for this goal became data journalism, which combines traditional storytelling skills with the range of digital information now available. We determined to work within the time frame of 2013–2017. Analyzing more than five years would have required us to scrape a very extensive dataset of media articles. In order to get data for our analysis, we decided to scrape only online media.
Setting up our actor for web scraping on the Apify platform
Apify really helped us with the web scraping. They created an actor to scrape articles from two servers (Novinky.cz, iDNES.cz) and explained to us how the actor works. We then adjusted and set up the actor using the instructions from Apify and downloaded articles from the two other servers (ParlamentniListy.cz, Aha). The scraped media articles were in JSON format. We used this data for further analysis.
Four charts show successful terrorist attacks in the years 2013–2017.
Apify helped us not only to scrape the data but to learn how to write the actors. It was a fruitful cooperation. The Apify platform is easy to use, try it yourself!
Jana Hošková, Barbora Špetlíková