The School of Data Journalism is coming soon!


This article is cross posted on the Open Knowledge Foundation blog.


The School of Data Journalism is a series of panel discussions and workshops on various aspects of data journalism organised by the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation. It is hosted at the sixth edition of Italy's leading journalism event, the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. In these sessions budding data journalists and newbies alike will learn from experienced data journalists and data gurus how to get the data you need, how to analyse it, how to get stories from data and how to present your stories.

Registration is now closed and we were overwhelmed with interest. Altogether we had 250 applications for the workshops, most of which have 20 places each. This confirms our view that there is a need, and significant demand, for this kind of hands-on training events.

Successful applicants will receive confirmations in the coming days. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applicants, we are unable to accommodate everyone who has applied. Some more places may become available if any of the participants are unable to attend.


If you're interested to learn about data journalism but haven't received a place in the workshops you can still attend the panels, where no registration is required. The panels attempt to provide answers to crucial questions for aspiring data journalists, editors and decision-makers in newsrooms:

  • What can aspiring data journalists learn from the successes of the past?
  • How can data journalism save your newsroom?
  • How do you start a data journalism operation?
  • How can you become a data journalist and what do you need to do?

If you cannot make it to the festival this year don't despair - many of the sessions will be recorded and we will make sure the course materials are available online. You can also get a copy of the Data Journalism Handbook, which will be launched at the festival and which includes many of the themes that will be covered in the School of Data Journalism. If you want to be notified when the handbook comes online fill in this form and we will let you know the minute we push publish.

Finally if you're interested in learning more about data journalism, do keep in touch via the mailing list and Twitter. We are planning to do further training events on these other topics across Europe and around the world in the coming months. If you'd like us to come to your town or city, do let us know.

For the curios, here is a bit more information about what will happen in Perugia.

Panels and workshops - when and where

Times and locations for the School of Data Journalism workshops and panels have been posted on the festival website.

The Panels (no registration required)

Panel 1: News and numbers: from CAR to data journalism

09:30 - 11:00 | Thursday, 26 April | Hotel Brufani - Sala Raffaello
Speakers: Sarah Cohen - Duke University; Steve Doig - Walter Cronkite J-School; Aron Pilhofer - New York Times; Simon Rogers - The Guardian Datablog; Elisabetta Tola - formicablu.it.

Panel 2: How can data journalism save your newsroom?

09:00 - 10:30 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Brufani - Sala Raffaello
Speakers: Mirko Lorenz - Deutsche Welle; Dan Nguyen -  ProPublica; Aron Pilhofer -  New York Times; Simon Rogers -  The Guardian Datablog; Guido Romeo - Wired Italy. 

Panel 3: You too can be a data journalist!

09:00 - 10:30 | Saturday, 28 April | Hotel Brufani - Sala Raffaello
Speakers: Caelainn Barr -  Citywire; Mirko Lorenz - Deutsche Welle; Dan Nguyen - ProPublica; Aron Pilhofer - New York Times; Simon Rogers - The Guardian Datablog.

Liliana Bounegru - European Journalism Centre and Lucy Chambers - Open Knowledge Foundation.


The workshops (registration closed)

Workshop 1: Scraping data and cracking PDFs

17:00 - 18:30 | Thursday, 26 April | Hotel Sangallo
Workshop leaders: Dan Nguyen - ProPublica; Friedrich Lindenberg - Open Knowledge Foundation and Aidan McGuire - ScraperWiki. 

Workshop 2: Information wants to be free

14:00 - 15:30 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Heather Brooke - activist and author; Steve Doig - Walter Cronkite J-School and Helen Darbishire - Access Info Europe.

Workshop 3: Making data pretty

18:00 - 19:30 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Dan Nguyen - ProPublica and Simon Rogers - The Guardian Datablog.

Workshop 4: Getting stories from data

16:30 - 18:00 | Saturday, 28 April 2012 | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Caelainn Barr - Citywire and Steve Doig - Walter Cronkite J-School.

Workshop 5: Spending Stories

14:00 - 15:30 | Sunday, 29 April | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Lucy Chambers - Open Knowledge Foundation and Friedrich Lindenberg - Open Knowledge Foundation.

Liliana Bounegru - European Journalism Centre and Lucy Chambers - Open Knowledge Foundation.

Two other interesting data journalism events will take place at the festival.

The Data Journalism Awards - shortlisted entries

10:30 - 11:00 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Brufani - Sala Raffaello
In this session the Global Editors Network and the European Journalism Centre will announce the 30 shortlisted entries for the 2012 edition of the Data Journalism Awards. The announcement will be followed by a discussion on the latest trends in data journalism by two leading data journalists: Wolfgang Blau, editor-in-chief of Zeit Online and Aron Pilhofer, editor of Interactive News at The New York Times.

Precision journalism workshop 

14:00 - 15:30 | Thursday, 26 April | Hotel Sangallo
Precision journalism means the use of computer software and social science techniques like statistics to bring evidence, not just anecdotes, to reporting. Two Pulitzer-winning database journalists, Sarah Cohen and Steve Doig, will give hands-on instruction in how to use simple tools like spreadsheets to analyze government data for patterns that lead to stories. Workshop participants will learn to import data, sort, filter, create new variables using functions and to build cross-tabulations that reveal hidden patterns. They also will learn to use descriptive statistics and tools like scatterplots and linear regression to see what is normal in the data — and, more interestingly, what is abnormal. Workshop participants should bring their own laptops, loaded with Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet software.