Getting Started with Data Journalism - Second Edition
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Getting Started with Data Journalism - Second Edition

Writing data stories in any size newsroom

About the Book

Getting started with data journalism does not require huge resources. Learning the basic skills can help you develop data stories that work for any size newsroom.

Like the previous edition, this book outlines the skills that have helped power award-winning journalism. However, a lot has changed in data journalism since then. Tools for cleaning, analysing and visualising have come and gone, new trends in storytelling have emerged, new projects based on data journalism have been launched.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Source data for your projects
  • Clean messy data
  • Understand and analyse data
  • Find the story in your data
  • Create visualisations from maps to social interactives

About the Author

Claire Miller
Claire Miller

Claire Miller is an award winning data journalist working across national and regional newspapers in the UK, with more than a decade's experience of using data skills to dig out data, find stories, and create visualisations.

While working at WalesOnline, she launched the datastore, a repository for the data and graphics relating to stories published in Media Wales newspapers. It was the first of its kind in regional newspapers and won the Digital Award at the Regional Press Awards. One of the stories on the number of children being placed in foster care outside Wales by Welsh councils, won a Data Journalism Award for investigative journalism.

She is now the editor of the Reach Data Unit, which she was instrumental in setting up and developing. The Unit produces in-depth data journalism projects and innovative interactive content that is published across Reach's national and regional titles. That can include deep-dives into government data to reveal the schools stuck with poor Ofsted results, ensuring election maps get the results to our readers as soon as votes are counted, or bringing together thousands of data points to help people feel fully informed about schools in their area.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • A changing landscape
    • Innovate and evolve
    • About this book
  • Why Data Journalism
    • Putting the story together
    • Data skills and traditional skills
    • Editorial planning for data
    • Data to story to resource
  • Getting Started
    • What is data?
      • The basics of data files and formats
    • The basics of working with spreadsheets
  • Sources of Data
    • Government Statistics
    • Written answers
    • Searching
    • Freedom of Information (FOI)
      • Who is covered in the UK?
      • Making a request
      • What makes a good request?
      • Waiting for a response
      • What if I don’t get the information I want?
      • Complaints to the Commissioner and Tribunals
    • Crowdsourcing
    • Scraping
      • Using Google Sheets as a scraper
      • Using Open Refine as a scraper
      • Scraping with Excel
  • Cleaning Data
    • Bringing data together
    • Getting data out of PDFs
    • Tidying up messy spreadsheets
    • Data on websites
    • Lots of abbreviations
    • Different words, all meaning the same thing
  • Understanding what the numbers might mean
    • Who gathered the data?
    • Watch out for small numbers and rare events
    • Consider how reliable your data is
    • What are the long-term trends?
    • Don’t cherry-pick your data
    • Be careful of what the numbers mean
  • Getting the story out of the data
    • Simple maths
    • Spreadsheet Basics
    • Pivot Tables
    • Data Mashups
    • Tableau
    • Correlations
  • Telling a Story with Visualisations
    • Choosing the right visualisation
    • The different types of visualisation
      • Tables
      • Graphs and Charts
      • Maps
      • Infographics
    • Some other things to remember
  • Visualising Data - Tables, Graphs and Charts
    • Tables
    • Graphs and charts
    • Visualising data in Tableau
  • Visualising Data - Maps
    • Mapping locations
      • Mapping with Tableau
    • Heat Maps
      • Creating maps with pre-made templates
      • Find your own base maps
      • Layered Maps
      • Real-time Maps
      • Heat maps in Tableau
  • Visualising Data - More Complex Visualisations
    • More Filtering
    • Actions
    • Personalised views
  • Conclusion
    • Where Next?

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