Getting Started – Tip Sheets

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If you’re new to data journalism, these free online materials can help you get your bearings.

Collaborative Data Journalism Guide This 2019 ProPublica guidebook covers:

  • Types of newsroom collaborations and how to start them
  • How a collaboration around crowdsourced data works
  • Questions to consider before starting a crowdsourced collaboration
  • Ways to collaborate around a shared dataset
  • How to set up and manage workflows in data collaborations

Data Journalism: MaryJo Webster’s Training Materials is a collection of resources for beginning data journalists that includes general data advice, a list of book recommendations, instructions on R, SQL, and spreadsheets, and data story ideas. MaryJo Webster is a data journalist with the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

Structuring & Sharing Data Investigations, by Marcel Pauly and Patrick Stotz of Der Spiegel, for GIJC19.

Data Editorial Process, by Emilia Diaz-Struck of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, for GIJC19.

How to Do #ddj With a Small Newsroom and a Limited Budget, an advice-packed  GIJC19 presentation by Pinar Dag from datajournalismturkey.

Reverse Engineering Step by Step, by Felix Ebert and Vanessa Wormer of Süddeutsche Zeitung, Thorsten Holz of Ruhr University Bochum, and Hakan Tanriverdi of Bayerische Rundfunk. Prepared for GIJC19.

Data Journalism Tools by MIT’s Knight Science Journalism program provides a list of books, conferences, tools, and databases for journalists. 

How to: plan a journalism project that needs data entry A 2020 post by Paul Bradshaw on the Online Journalism Blog.

Diving into Data Journalism (2016) by Samantha Sunne for API is a general guide that covers principles of data journalism, starting a data team in a newsroom, and challenges in data journalism. 

Introduction to Data Journalism is a syllabus prepared by US journalist Peter Aldhous for an introductory course at UC Berkeley. It walks through basic statistics, getting and cleaning data, using spreadsheets, and visualization.

Data journalism: a guide for editors This 2019 article by Maud Beelman and Jennifer LaFleur is subtitled, “Editing investigations is challenging enough, but particularly when you’re not familiar with data methods.”

The New York Times recently released materials that they are using in the newsroom to increase data literacy. Start with the readme file.  

In Data Journalism, Tech Matters Less Than the People Ben Casselman, a New York Times economics reporter, uses a programming language called R and works with vast data sets. But he says in a 2019 article that interviews still make for the best stories.

Quick Guide to Data Journalism by DataCamp defines data journalism, offers advice on which programming languages to learn, and includes links to books, Twitter accounts, and other resources. 

Ricochet by Chrys Wu contains tip sheets and presentations from years of IRE and NICAR conferences. Lots of great ideas, including international examples. 

Data Journalism Archives is a collection of materials on the Better News site, sponsored  by the American Press Institute and the Knight Temple Lenfest News Initiative.

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