This year, the African Centre for Media Excellence is taking a leap into the foray of data journalism. In the next 12 months we will be collating and refining a series of data sets to enable reporters to have quick access to important data on public policy, government services, legislative activity and specific socio-economic trends. In tandem with this, we will offer training to journalists and professional communicators on the latest tools and research on data-driven journalism.
But, what is data journalism? Why does it matter? Is it more than maths? How can you start exploring it?
A good place to start is at the International Centre for Journalists where a report on Integrating Data Journalism into Newsrooms highlights the both the simplicity and complexity of equipping reporters of adopting data journalism. It is a great inspiration for those who would dare to join this new ear.
Not interested in reports? Want to start your learning now? Look no further than The Data Journalism Handbook. The handbook from the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation is available for free online in easy-to-download formats.
Journalism.co.uk has “a speedy guide for journalists on finding data and tools for visualising it – with minimum coding skills required.” While the majority of data sets provided are UK-based, they provide a few good insights into where to look for similar information on Uganda internationally and at home.
Northwestern University’s Knight Lab will take you a step further into data journalism with a handy online course on basic skills and essential planning for adopting this emerging form of reporting in your newsroom.
For everyday examples of the use of data journalism, stop at the Data Store at The Guardian, which boldly declares “Facts are sacred”. It shows how data from education and taxation to pornography can be used for solid, fact-based reporting.
YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of information on data journalism. Here, for instance, is a recent video from Mark Horvit, executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editor (IRE), on how data has changed investigative reporting.
Visit us again for regular updates on the latest new learning in data journalism as we begin our own journey into this exciting field.