Make data journalism your 2017 resolution


Newsrooms are increasingly recognising the storytelling value of data. But many journalists are still hesitant to touch data driven stories, falling back on the all too familiar excuse: “I’m not good at math”.

Why not make 2017 the year to change this?

The Knight Center is running a free, online course from 16 January to 26 February 2017, called Data Exploration and Storytelling, that aims to empower even the most data-shy journalists.

Convened by renowned visualization expert, Alberto Cario, and data scientist, Heather Krause, the course will teach students how to extract journalistic stories from data through six weekly modules:

  • Finding and Understanding Data
  • Character Development for your Data Story
  • Basic Plot Elements of Your Story
  • Advancing the Plot of Your Story
  • The Plot Thickens in your Data Story
  • Putting the Data Story Together

Participants will leave knowing how to find data, how to understand it, how to build stories using that data and how to implement best practices around ethics and data.

"We have already offered several online courses focused on data-journalism, but this one is different, with a very original approach," said professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center.

“Journalists will learn how to 'interview' the data and find great stories. Then, they will learn how to present those stories in the most friendly and effective way. These kinds of skills are in demand in newsrooms all over the world."

The course is open to anyone interested in learning about exploring stories with data. Instructors will use Microsoft Excel and Tableau Public to show examples, but it is also possible to follow the course using Google Sheets instead of Excel.

Strapped for time? No worries. Like all Knight Center courses, Data Exploration and Storytelling is asynchronous. So long as you finish each module by the end of the week, you are free to complete it at your own pace.

Visit the course webpage here.