Last week I shared some of the tips from a class for students on my MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism and MA in Data Journalism on how to find stories in company accounts. It’s a challenging subject to teach — but for the last couple of years I’ve used an approach that seems to work especially well: a story treasure hunt.
Here’s how it works. Continue reading
This week I’m teaching students on my MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism and MA in Data Journalism how to find stories in company accounts — so I thought it would be a good time to share just some of the ways that you can use these public documents for story leads and ideas.
Here, then, are just 9 ways to find stories in company accounts — and most of them don’t involve any numbers at all. Continue reading
By starting from one person you can start to identify the different parts of the systems that affect your topic — and useful story leads and ideas
For the last couple of weeks I’ve been helping students on my MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism and MA in Data Journalism come up with story ideas for specialist reporting and investigations. Part of the process involves an exercise around scoping out a particular subject or system you are interested in — for example, the housing system, or ‘dark kitchens’, the Oscars, or air pollution — and identifying the gaps in your knowledge that can lead to stories.
It’s an exercise where empathy plays a central role.
Here’s how the process works — and why empathy is so important to it. Continue reading
It’s a common misconception of data journalism that the resulting stories will be all about numbers. In fact, the data is often just a stepping stone — it might take you to interviews, or help you find case studies; it might give you the spark for a feature idea without a single number.
Recently I was asked about these alternatives to ‘number stories’ by one of my part time PGCert Data Journalism students — so here are the 6 tips I shared with them:
Data-driven reporting regularly involves some form of data entry — some of the stories I’ve been involved with, for example, have included entering information from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, compiling data from documents such as companies’ accounts, or working with partners to collect information from a range of sources.
But you’ll rarely hear the challenges of managing these projects discussed in resources on data journalism.
Last week I delivered a session on exactly those challenges to a factchecking team in Albania, so I thought it might be useful to share the tips from that session here.
They include some steps to take to reduce the likelihood of problems arising, while also helping to ensure a data entry project takes as little time as possible. Continue reading
Data journalists are being invited to enter a new data journalism award, launched to “celebrate the best data journalism around the world [and] to empower, elevate and enlighten the global community of data journalists.”
The Sigma Awards were created by Aron Pilhofer and Reginald Chua, with support from Marianne Bouchart and Google’s Simon Rogers. Bouchart managed the Data Journalism Awards organised by the Global Editors Network, which closed last year.
There are nine awards across six categories:
- Best data-driven reporting (small and large newsrooms)
- Best visualisation (small and large newsrooms)
- Innovation (small and large newsrooms)
- Young journalist
- Open data; and
- Best news application
Aside from a trophy, up to two people from each winning project will receive an all-expenses-covered trip to the International Journalism Festival in Perugia on 1–5 April 2020 where the awards will be celebrated.
The organisers hope that winners will “participate in and lead data journalism panels, discussions and workshops” at the festival.
Entries to the competition are open until 3 February 2020 at 11:59 pm ET via an online form.
Abigail Edge teaches a guest workshop on advanced Google tools in BCU’s newsroom
The latest frequently asked questions post is an answer to Ian Silvera who asks a number of questions about teaching journalism within the context a fast-changing industry. You can read his post here.
How do you think journalism lecturers should keep up with the fast-changing industry?
Following the industry press is pretty essential for anyone teaching in the field. Sites like Journalism.co.uk and Niemanlab are especially good at covering developments, but there’s also InPublishing and HoldtheFrontPage who cover it more broadly including new technologies and issues. And tons of email newsletters.
It’s easier than ever to follow individuals inside the industry, too – on Twitter as well as professional blogs, Medium.com and anywhere else. I maintain Twitter lists of people reporting in particular fields or in particular roles, for example, and generate Nuzzel newsletters for those lists so I’m up to date with what they’re sharing. Continue reading