Conversations with Data: Join the discussion at the International Journalism Festival


Stories don't often emerge organically from data, like they might with human sources. But this doesn't mean that data journalists don't have conversations with their source. They still have to prod it, query it, and wrestle with it, before getting answers. 

To discuss how journalists can better converse with data, the European Journalism Centre (EJC), will be organising a special session at the International Journalism Festival (IJF) on 13 April 2018.

The session will bring together a panel of leading practitioners, including Lam Thuy Vo from BuzzFeed News and Gregor Aisch from Datawrapper, who caught up with the EJC to discuss the current state of data journalism earlier this week.

Although both Gregor and Lam acknowledged that the field has evolved dramatically over the past decade, there are still some challenges to overcome. This is particularly true when it comes to more complex stories, where data is not always available.

"I think data journalism is in a decent shape right now, mostly because nobody is talking about it anymore and people are just doing it. One ongoing challenge is to also apply it to areas that are not inviting journalists with ready-to-use datasets ," explained Gregor. 

"It’s easy to do ddj projects around elections and big sport events, where you get nice structured tables or historical data. But it’s harder to do it on subjects with little or no data."

In recognition of these challenges, the EJC has launched a contest to hear from data journalists across Europe who have used visualisation to tell complex stories. The winning entrant receive a free ticket to the International Journalism Festival (IJF) in Perugia from 11-14 April 2018.

To enter, simply submit an innovative data visualization, which captures complex ideas in a visual context. It can be a chart, video, infographic or even VR/AR presentation, but it must showcase the ‘best use of data to tell complex stories’.

Entries close 22 March 2018.

Submit your entry here.