With just a few basic data journalism techniques you can tell a lot of data journalism stories. I call these the “three chords of data journalism” — a nod to Simon Rogers’s talk on data journalists as the new punks. Those chords are: sorting; filtering; and calculating percentages.
In this third video first made for students on the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University and shared as part of a series of video posts, I walk through how to use those techniques in practice, using gender pay gap data to demonstrate how those techniques can be used to find outliers and potential interviewees; to drill down to a particular category or area in a dataset; and to put figures into context.
Journalists get hold of data using four broad approaches: it might be newly published or issued; it might be leaked; they might request it; or they might seek it out based on an idea or in reaction to a news event.
In this second short video first made for students on the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University and shared as part of a series of video posts, I go through the different ways that journalists obtain data and the different types of story that those sources can lead to.
Data journalism isn’t just about spreadsheets and interactives: in this video from my MA Data Journalism classes at Birmingham City University I look at why the news industry has expanded its focus on data journalism over the past decade, and how thinking about definitions of data journalism can help reporters think more broadly about potential stories and subjects beyond official statistics.
I also look at related terms such as computational journalism, robot journalism and augmented journalism — and what we can learn from those definitions as practitioners.
The best online journalism has a range of qualities: it tends to be succinct, easy to scan, and it considers how a user might interact with it — whether through links or embedded elements, or more conversational elements like comments and social media hashtags.
I am from Brazil, a country well-known for football and FIFA World Cup titles — and the host of the World Cup in 2014. Being a sceptical journalist, in 2019 I tried to discover the real impacts of that 2014 World Cup on the 213 million residents of Brazil: tracking the 121 infrastructure projects that the Brazilian government carried out for the competition and which were considered the “major social legacy” of the tournament.
In 2018 the Brazilian government had taken the website and official database on the 2014 FIFA World Cup infrastructure projects offline — so I had to make Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests to get data.
The investigation took 3 months and more than 230 FOIA requests to 33 different public bodies in Brazil. On August 23, my story was published.
Here is everything that I have learned from making those hundreds of FOIA requests:
Email newsletters are an excellent way for journalism students to build a profile in a field while also improving their specialist knowledge and editorial skills. I’ve put together a short video guide on some of the key techniques to use when starting an email newsletter — and why it’s a great way to stand out in the jobs market.
The video outlines three typical purposes of newsletters, the importance of visuals and links, and other key qualities of the genre. Watch it below.
This video was first made for journalism students on Birmingham City University’s MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism. It also includes some advice on referencing reading and evidence in an evaluation of students’ work.