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Posts Tagged ‘data journalism’

Steve Buttry Wants to Change How You Work (It Will Be Better, We Promise)

project unboltMost of our newsrooms, if we’re honest, are print organizations with the digital initiative “bolted on.” Or so admitted Digital First Media CEO John Paton. I can’t decide whether I’m jealous of or pity the man, Steve Buttry, who has been tasked with unbolting four test newsrooms as DFM’s digital transformation editor.

He obviously knew what he was getting into. More than just refocusing attention to mobile reporting, engaging with audiences over social media or creating new ways to play with and use data, Project Unbolt is about actually changing how newsrooms think and act. Buttry elaborated on his blog this week about what it will actually entail and look like to ‘wrench’ newsrooms away from thinking for print. Here are some highlights:

  • Everything is live, all the time. He writes:

Virtually all event coverage and breaking news coverage are handled as live coverage, with ScribbleLive, livetweeting, livestreaming, etc. This includes sports events, government meetings, trials, community festivals, etc….Live coverage is routine for the unbolted newsroom. Reporters and/or visual journalists covering events plan for live coverage unless they have a good reason not to (a judge won’t allow phones or computers in a courtroom; a family would rather not have you livetweet a funeral; connectivity at a site is poor).

  • In the unbolted newsroom, you post content when you have an audience. Digital content is fresh every morning, you aren’t planning for morning editions, and those ‘Sunday magazine’ style features go up during the week. Read more

Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund Announces 24 New Projects

Photo courtesy of Knight Foundation

Photo courtesy of Knight Foundation


Earlier this week, the Knight Foundation announced funding for 24 new projects as part of its Prototype Fund. The fund allows innovators to move from idea to demo with $35,000 in funding.

A spokesperson for the fund says there are several noteworthy elements particular to the current round of funded projects. Read more

Improve Your Data Journalism Skills, For Free

In today’s journalism environment, data is abundant, but journalists skilled at collecting, interpreting and maximizing it are not as plentiful. These are real skills that can improve your reporting today and improve your job prospects in the future.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to do your journalism job better (which probably should just be a standing resolution anyway), here’s a great free way reporters, editors and designers can improve their data journalism skills.

From European Journalism Centre, the people who brought us the Data Journalism Handbook, comes this five-week online course starting early in 2014: Doing Journalism With Data: First Steps and Skills

Among the topics to be covered by some industry experts: Read more

‘For Journalism’ Wants to Help You Build News Apps, Learn to Code

photo-mainIn the spirit of the animated, multi-faceted debate going on about whether or not journalists should learn how to code, it seems like a good time to help introduce For Journalism, a startup seeking to offer data journalism and programming skills to the journalist of the future.

It’s safe to say which side of the fence For Journalism is on when it comes to the topic of how much technical knowledge writers and reporters should have — they say explicitly that we’re suffering from a “pipeline problem for people with data and programming skills for journalism.”

The project, spearheaded by Dave Stanton, a developer and Poynter technology fellow, provides journalists with curriculum on everything from Ruby on Rails (an open-source coding and programming resource) and Django, to creating meaningful pieces of data for accompanying journalistic work. Courses cost $20 and include an informational e-book, screencasts, code repositories and forums.

Read more

15 Resources For Journalists To Learn About Statistics

Journalists don’t do math? In an age of open data, that’s an excuse that no longer flies.  The list below, compiled from the smart people on the NICAR listserv thanks to a request from The Associated Press’ Michelle Minkoff, contains resources to help you get started with the basics of statistics and data analysis.

1. “New Precision Journalism” by Phillip Meyer (Book)

“The New Precision Journalism” shows journalists and students of journalism how to use the new technology to analyze data and provide more precise information in easier-to-understand form. It covers the history of journalism in the scientific tradition, various elements and techniques of data analysis, the use of statistics, computers, surveys, and field experiments, database applications, how to do an election survey, and the politics of precision journalism. This is an important resource for working journalists and an indispensable text for all journalism majors.

2. ”How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrell Huff (Book)

 Darrell Huff runs the gamut of every popularly used type of statistic, probes such things as the sample study, the tabulation method, the interview technique, or the way results are derived from the figures, and points up the countless number of dodges which are used to fool rather than to inform.

3. Coursera: Passion Driven Stats (Online Course)

In this project-based course, you will have the opportunity to answer a question that you feel passionately about through independent research based on existing data. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in generating testable hypotheses, preparing data for analysis, conducting descriptive and inferential statistical analyses, and presenting research findings.

Read more

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