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On my first day at the Erice School of Science Journalism this past week I attended a lecture by Alessio Cimarelli, who discussed "When Data Journalism meets Science: a "Hackathon"". The speaker (who owns the site called "dataninja") showed several examples of how to mine the web to construct databases and display results on several topics. It was quite interesting to see the techniques he used, but I felt compelled to interrupt him at some point, in the interest of the school participants.

The fact is, he was showing his results as if they were accurate measurements of the researched feature, while for a journalist it should be very important to be able to keep a critical attitude toward whatever "result" is discussed - especially those one can extract by oneself by automatic means.

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