introduction to data journalism

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A brief 15-minute presentation introducing the basic concepts and abstract principles of the nascent field of data journalism.


  • 1. Introduction to Data Journalism{presented by: carl v. lewis,for: center for collaborativejournalism,where: mercer university,date: june 24, 2013,contact:,}Tuesday, June 25, 13

2. What is data journalism?Data itself is the story; standalonenarrative.Interactive, communicative, visual.Ranges from simple (charts) tocomplex (database-driven applications).Both a technique and a format.Both entertaining and factual.Tuesday, June 25, 13 3. The history of data journalismGrew out of CAR(computer assisted-reporting) traditionJohn Snows 1854cholera mapHas coincided with theera of Big DataTuesday, June 25, 13 4. On the emergence of the eld of data journalism:"When information was scarce, most of ourefforts were devoted to hunting andgathering. Now that information isabundant, processing is more important." Phillip Meyer, UNC Chapel HillTuesday, June 25, 13 5. What data journalism is not:Simply incorporating public data into yourtextual narrative.Infographics.Illustrations.Resource-intensive.Just about numbers and programming.Just about making data ashy.Transparent direct access to primaryTuesday, June 25, 13 6. What data journalism is:VisualOften-evergreenTransparent direct access to primarysource.CredibleEngagingGood business modelTuesday, June 25, 13 7. The role of the data journalistPart statistician, part reporter, partprogrammer.Were statisticians.We dontprogram.Were programmers.We dontreport.Were reporters.We dont code.Tuesday, June 25, 13 8. Democratization of data journalismFree and open-source tools(Google Maps API, JavaScriptlibraries, etc.).Open Data laws.Anyone can do it. Datajournalism is the new punk. -Simon Rogers,The GuardianTuesday, June 25, 13 9. Mapping America: Every City, Every Block,NYTimes.comWhere Does My Money Go?, TheGuardian.Womens health providers,Texas TribuneNotable examples of data journalismTuesday, June 25, 13 10. Tuesday, June 25, 13 11. How do you do data journalism?The answer: JavaScript*Also acceptable: open-source tools.For a full-list of tools, go to to 11:45 a.m. panel inCCJ 131.Tuesday, June 25, 13 12. Questions? Sorry, no time now.Follow me on Twitter @carlvlewisTuesday, June 25, 13