The Data Journalism Handbook is finally here!


This article is cross-posted on the web magazine of the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.


This Saturday at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia the first version of the Data Journalism Handbook has finally been released. Six months after the idea was born at the 2011 Mozilla Festival in London, the handbook is finally online, although "corrections will be made in the next days and additional material included," as editor and project coordinator Liliana Bounegru, European Journalism Centre, pointed out at the launch of the book. 

The handbook is the result of a massive international collaborative effort: coordinators Lucy Chambers, of the Open Knowledge Foundation, and Liliana Bounegru said their role was mainly to "facilitate the dialogue and work of the community members that contributed to the handbook."

"The book is about why you should care about data journalism. Feedback is welcome and invited and we hope you will like it," said Chambers. The content of the book, beautifully summarised in a poster created by infographic designer Lulu Pinney, is now freely available online. In May an e-book and a print version will be published by O'Reilly Media.


The Data Journalism Handbook overview by Lulu Pinney

The handbook opens with an overview of what data journalism means to leading practitioners and advocates and examples of what others have done in this field. The aim is to "inspire you to work in this field. The second part shows you how to get started with data journalism and takes you step by step through the data journalism workflow, from getting data by scraping, to submitting FOI requests and crowdsourcing data collection," commented Liliana Bounegru. "Next the book looks at how to make sense of your data, how to get stories from data, and provides an overview of data journalists' favourite tools and examples." The last chapter is dedicated to the essential step of delivering stories and data to the public and engaging communities around your project.

Mirko Lorenz, information architect at Deutsche Welle and contributor to the handbook, congratulated the editors, including Jonathan Gray who unfortunately could not be in Perugia, but whose editorial skill was essential for the success of the book, all the contributors for their "really marvellous work", and said he was very happy to see how many media outlets got involved in the project.

Editors Liliana Bounegru and Lucy Chambers introducing the Data Journalism Handbook

Guido Romeo of Wired Italy informed the audience that the first chapter of the handbook has already been translated into Italian and that enthusiastic contributors willing to help finish the translation are welcome. 

As Aron Pilhofer, editor at the New York Times, said: "There is no lack of tools or training material out there to get you started," and the handbook is the perfect resource for aspiring data journalists.