Last year I was part of a team — with Yemisi Akinbobola and Ogechi Ekeanyawu — that won a CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year award for an investigation into Nigerian football agents. The project, funded by Journalismfund.eu, and also available in an immersive longform version, combined data journalism and networked production with on-the-ground reporting. Here are some of the lessons we drew from the project… Continue reading
Last week I hosted the second annual Data Journalism UK conference — a convenient excuse to bring together speakers from the news media, industry experts, charities and startups working in the field. You can read write ups on Journalism.co.ukand the BBC Academy website (who kindly hosted the event at BBC Birmingham), but I thought I’d also put my own thoughts down here…
The Bureau and the BBC: 2 networked models for supporting data journalism
2017 saw the launch of two projects with a remit to generate and stimulate data journalism at a local level: the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Bureau Local project, and the BBC’s Shared Data Unit. Continue reading
Earlier this year I announced a new MA in Data Journalism. Now I am announcing a version of the course for those who wish to study a shorter, part time version of the course.
The PGCert in Data Journalism takes place over 8 months and includes 3 modules from the full MA:
- Data Journalism;
- Law, Regulation and Institutions (including security); and
- Specialist Journalism, Investigations and Coding
The modules develop both a broad understanding of a range of data journalism techniques before you choose to develop some of those in greater depth on a specialist project.
The course is designed for those working in industry who wish to gain accredited skills in data journalism, but who cannot take time out to study full time or may not want a full Masters degree (a PGCert is 60 credits towards the 180 credits needed for a full MA).
In a special guest post Anders Eriksen from the #bord4 editorial development and data journalism team at Norwegian news website Bergens Tidende talks about how they manage large data projects.
Do you really know how you ended up with those results after analyzing the data from Public Source?
Well, often we did not. This is what we knew:
- We had downloaded some data in Excel format.
- We did some magic cleaning of the data in Excel.
- We did some manual alterations of wrong or wrongly formatted data.
- We sorted, grouped, pivoted, and eureka! We had a story!
Then we got a new and updated batch of the same data. Or the editor wanted to check how we ended up with those numbers, that story.
…And so the problems start to appear.
How could we do the exact same analysis over and over again on different batches of data?
And how could we explain to curious readers and editors exactly how we ended up with those numbers or that graph?
We needed a way to structure our data analysis and make it traceable, reusable and documented. This post will show you how. We will not teach you how to code, but maybe inspire you to learn that in the process. Continue reading
In a guest post Jane Haynes speaks to investigative journalist Peter Geoghegan of the award-winning news site The Ferret about data, contacts and “nosing up the trousers of power”.
When the Scottish Government announced last month that it was banning fracking, it was a moment to savour for a group of journalists from an independent news site in the heart of the country.
Using a combination of contact-led information and FOI requests, they uncovered the extent of the ambitions to dig deep into Scottish soil.
It was part of a steady flow of fracking stories from the Ferret team, ensuring those involved in making decisions were in no doubt of their responsibilities and recognised that every step would be scrutinised. Continue reading
In a guest post for OJB, Steve Carufel interviews Dutch data journalist Thomas de Beus about visualisation, storytelling — and useful new tools for data journalists.
Data journalism is, among other things, the art of resisting the temptation to show spectacular visualisations that fail to highlight the data behind a story.
Insights and relevant statistics can get lost in visual translation, so Thomas de Beus’ Colourful Facts is a great place to start thinking more about clarity and your audience — and less about spectacular graphic design (although you do not want to forego attractiveness entirely). Continue reading
As the first group of MA Data Journalism students prepare to start their course this month, I’ve been recommending a number of email newsletters in the field that they should be following — and I thought I should share it here too.
Here, then, are 9 email newsletters about data — if I’ve missed any please let me know. Continue reading