Introduction to Data Journalism syllabus - Thursdays
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DateClassThemeInfoTools usedExerciseWhat will you learn this class?Reading (Please do this before each class)Critique of the weekSpeaker?Livestreamed?Deck
Jan 10, 20191Introduction- Introductions: who are you and who am I?
- What is data journalism?
- Is it journalism? Read this piece:
- Inside three of my data projects: Wikileaks, the alternative Olympic medal table and Reading the Riots
- Looking ahead: what will we cover in the course?
1) Choose a dataset from one provided. 2) Discuss the differences. 3) Visualise dataThe basics and history of data journalism and how to show differences.

Extracts of Philip Meyer’s Precision Journalism:
Two data projects (each of the following weeks will see students bring a project to critique)
Jan 17, 20192From story to source. What is the story here?Sources: where do you get the data? How do you find the data you need in a hurry? A look at good starting points and how to treat them. Lateral thinking, spreadsheets, the webStudents will choose three of the following news stories (to come), identify and
track down the key data and list five questions they would expect the
data to help them answer. all under strict deadlines. Take one of these datasets (from here: (from here: (from here:

First, find out where the data came from. What is the key story for each dataset? Think of five things you would like to know about the data of your own devising. Then, use pivot tables to find out the answer.
What dataset would be good to mashup with the results? What would shed more light on it?
How to find data in a hurry. The basics of using spreadsheets, including pivot tables.
Jan 24, 20193Basic charts and scraping data.Why make basic charts? There are large numbers of tools available to make simple embedable charts that help you tell your story. Plus: scraping data with import.ioDatawrapper, Google Charts, info.gram, Fusion Tables, Data Gif MakerExercise: pick a news story from this week and find a dataset to go with it. Visualize that dataset using one of the free charting options.

Produce a ‘this story in XX charts’ article using five examples from these charts.
How to make basic charts using free tools. How to use Flourish to make complex visuals.
Jan 31, 20194Data Gifs and newsroom designVisuals don't have to be complex to tell a story. This session with Data Gif expert and ProPublica designer Lena Groeger will teach you how to make a data gif.Adobe PhotoshopMake your own data gif!Presentation:


Lena Groeger, ProPublicaYesPresentation:


Feb 7, 20195Working with designersWorking with visual designers is a key part of a data journalist’s skill set. But what do designers look for in the information you provide?Spreadsheets, research skillsProduce data sets for an interactive guide, to a news topic announced at the beginning of classHow to work with a designer and to produce basic data for one.
Visit to Pitch InteractiveYes
Feb 14, 20196Google dataSearch data is qualitative information in quantative amounts. This session will investigate what stories you can get, which tools will help and how to get started and you will meet one of Twitter's visual insights team to discuss how they do it.Google TrendsTake a news story from this week and find out the following details: where is the story top searched? What are the top related searches? Is there an interesting comparison to search for? Produce five ideas where Trends data can add to a story. Produce one chart and a short Textual analysisHow to analyse search data
Katherine Walker, Lead designer, Google Brand StudioYes
Feb 21, 20197Humanity in data journalism and visualisation: why it mattersTypically, data journalism is often paired with traditional narrative reporting, which can focus on teasing out the empathy part of the equation. That leaves the data work feeling anonymous and impersonal. But in a world where visuals have to stand alone, that is no longer adequate. How to make a story human
Giorgia LupiYes
Feb 28, 20198Elections dataElections produce a lot of data, from detailed results to complex campaign finance numbersSpreadsheets, research skillsPerform basic analysis on election results data and see what insights you can glean. Work with campaign finance data to produce three potential storiesHow to analyse an election dataset, the questions to ask
Mar 7, 20199Fact checking and data journalism. Collaborative journalismTwo big topics in one class: The principles of verification and fact checking around major news events. Plus: When can data journalists work together, and how to make it work.Yes
Mar 14, 201910Final presentations of group projects
To be confirmed
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