Data journalism: How to find stories in numbers

Data journalism: How to find stories in numbers by Sandra Crucianelli.

From the post:

Colleagues often ask me what data journalism is. They’re confused by why it needs its own name — don’t all journalists use data?

The term is shorthand for ‘database journalism’ or ‘data-driven journalism’, where journalists find stories, or angles for stories, within large volumes of data.

It overlaps with investigative journalism in requiring lots of research, sometimes against people’s wishes. It can also overlap with data visualisation, as it requires close collaboration between journalists and digital specialists to find the best ways of presenting data.

So why get involved with spreadsheets and visualisation tools? At its most basic, adding data can give a story a new, factual dimension. But delving into datasets can also reveal new stories, or new aspects to them, that may not have otherwise surfaced.

Data journalism can also sometimes tell complicated stories more easily or clearly than relying on words alone — so it’s particularly useful for science journalists.

It can seem daunting if you’re trained in print or broadcast media. But I’ll introduce you to some new skills, and show you some excellent digital tools, so you too can soon find your feet as a data journalist.

Sandra gives as good an introduction to data journalism as you are likely to find. Her post covers everything from finding story ideas, researching relevant data, data processing and of course, presenting your findings in a persuasive way.

A must read for starting journalists but also for anyone needing an introduction to looking at data that supports a story (or not).

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