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Resource Tipsheet

Basic Data Journalism Tips for Editors

At the NICAR22 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, journalism trainer MaryJo Webster offered a series of basic tips for editors who have little to no data analysis skills.

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My Favorite Tools: Venezuela’s Lisseth Boon on Design and Data Visualization

Since her arrival at Runrun.es, Lisseth Boon has conducted investigations on human rights violations, gold trafficking, illegal mining, and environmental crimes, many of them recognized with national and international awards. Her team has also worked with media platforms both inside and outside of Venezuela such as Consejo de Redacción and Connectas in Colombia, Convoca in Perú, and Mongabay. It has also participated in transnational collaborative projects such as the Panama Papers, Fincen Files, Swiss Connection, Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash), Vigila La Pandemia, and Tierra de Resistencia.

Resource Tipsheet

Data Journalism Training Courses

Looking to learn a new programming language or improve your spreadsheet skills? These online vendors offer free or low-cost online courses and video tutorials on a variety of topics and languages. Check GIJN’s YouTube page for the free webinars. The Social Data School, led by Cambridge Digital Humanities in association with the Minderoo Centre for […]

Resource Tipsheet

Visualization Tools

There are a plethora of programs available for data visualization. Some are very simple to use and require no coding, while others are more difficult to learn but offer greater flexibility and interactivity. Here are some of the most popular options for journalists. ArcGIS online is a tool from Esri to create and share online […]

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Visualizing Data

Once you’ve done your analysis, you may want to create graphs, charts, or maps to display your results. Here are some resources to help you display your data in visually appealing, reader-friendly formats. Flowing Data offers a plethora of tutorials that will help you visualize your data. You’ll learn how to make cartograms, upset plots, […]

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Using R

R is a popular programming language most commonly used for data cleaning, statistics, and data visualization. Both the R program and R-Studio are open source. Below are some books and online resources to get you started. Many of the online vendors listed under “Training Courses” offer free or low-cost classes in R. Datajournalism.com offers this […]

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Mapping

If you have a dataset involving geographic locations, these tools and tipsheets can help you analyze your data using maps. The most commonly used mapping programs in newsrooms are ArcGIS from Esri (which has free options for journalists) and the open-source program QGIS. Some also are useful for visualizing, but we’ve added a separate list […]

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Analyzing Data – Python

Python is one of the most popular programming languages for data journalists, and it is useful for scraping websites as well as cleaning and analyzing data. Here are some resources for learning to code in Python.  A Byte of Python is an online book dedicated to the basics of Python. It is targeted at those […]

Resource Tipsheet

Analyzing Data – SQL

SQL is a commonly used language for working with databases. It is particularly useful for working with larger datasets that can bog down Excel and for joining separate datasets for analysis. Several open-source versions are used in newsrooms, including Postgresql and DB Browser for SQLite.  Here are some tips on how to get started. This […]

Resource Tipsheet

Analyzing Data – Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets often are the first data tool journalists learn to use. They come in handy for cleaning and analyzing data in structured formats such as .csv files. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are the most commonly used spreadsheets. Below are some resources to help you navigate Excel and improve your spreadsheet skills. Data Journalism Training: […]

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Tools for Scraping, Cleaning, and Prepping Data

Got dirty data or pesky PDFs? These programs can help you get your data into a format you can use. OpenRefine is a free tool for exploring, cleaning, and matching data. It is particularly useful for dealing with messy data. It is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese (Brazil), German, Japanese, Italian, Hungarian, […]

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Prepping Data – Tips

Once you have your data, check out these free online tipsheets and tutorials for advice on how to inspect and clean it before you start analyzing. This story is a great example of what to do when there are gaps in terms of the data available from official bodies (2021). Data Biographies: How to Get […]

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Getting Data – Using Open Records Laws

Government bodies often have mechanisms that allow journalists and members of the public to request data and documents. Below are some resources to help you understand the public records laws where you live and draft successful records requests. The National Freedom of Information Coalition is a US nonprofit organization that has a guide to international […]

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Data Journalism Conferences

These conferences can provide opportunities to network, learn new techniques, and discuss story ideas with fellow data journalists. The Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer Conference includes sessions on data journalism from leading practitioners. Data Harvest is held in conjunction with the European Investigative Journalism Conference. The next one is scheduled for 19-22 May 2022 in […]

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Getting Started – Tip Sheets

If you’re new to data journalism, these free online materials can help you get your bearings. Read this 2022 big list of data journalism tools and resources by GIJN’s Alastair Otter. What data journalists should know about building custom AI models, by Jeremy Merrill and the Columbia Journalism Review. Collaborative Data Journalism Guide This 2019 […]

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Getting Started – Books

Data journalism is a perpetually evolving topic. GIJN’s resource pages are updated regularly with new material. Data + Journalism – A Story-Driven Approach to Learning Data Reporting by Mike Reilley and Samantha Sunne (to be published in 2023). At the GIJC19 conference in Hamburg, attendees heard the presentation: Latest Data Journalism Trends From AI to […]

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Scraping Data 

Scraping refers to using a tool or writing a program that automatically pulls data from a website. Below are some resources for learning to scrape data from websites, no matter what your comfort level with coding. This chapter from The Data Journalism Handbook 1 includes tips for scraping and some code examples. Journocode (2019) offers a […]

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Document of the Day: Algorithms for Journalists

Here’s a great place to start learning about how algorithms can enhance your work: A Columbia Journalism School professor has shared his course syllabus online, complete with exercises and examples of how algorithms have been used by journalists.

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Document of the Day: Visual Vocabulary

Inspired by the Graphic Continuum by Jon Schwabish and Severino Ribeca, the Financial Times graphic team came up with their own neat chart of visualizations. The Visual Vocabulary is a guide to help journalists pick the right type of visualization for their story.

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How To Create a Data Journalism Team

You don’t need the resources of The New York Times to create a data journalism team in your newsroom. But you do need to think out the structure. Here are 10 things you should consider if you are considering setting up your own team.

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Three “Musts” for Today’s Investigative Journalist

Journalism is by definition investigative. However, the depth and scope of possibilities to unearth and bring to light wrongdoings of public interest has increased manifold, thanks to the way the Internet has been evolving in the last decade. To be a true investigative reporter today, it is indispensable to fine-tune the old philosophy with three new practices: be Open, Systematic and Safe.

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A Tour Of Aleph, A Data Search Tool For Reporters

In a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, the Aleph is a point in space that contains all others. To those who see it, it presents the entire universe at once — an investigative reporter’s dream. Over the past six months, I’ve been working for OCCRP to produce a tool named after this mythical object. It’s based on a prototype I hacked up as part of my 2014 Knight International Journalism Fellowship, and it has now grown into a data research tool as part of the Investigative Dashboard.

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Improve Your Data Literacy: 16 Blogs to Follow in 2016

Data literacy is a never-ending process. Going to workshops and hands-on practice are important, but to really become acquainted with the “culture” of data literacy, you’ll have to do a lot of reading. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back: below is a curated list of 16 blogs to follow in 2016 if you want to: improve your data-visualisation skills; see the best examples of data journalism; discover the methodology behind the best data-driven projects; and pick-up some essential tips for working with data.

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Research Desk: Violation Tracker, Road Safety, Biz Regs

We’re back with another Research Desk post. We’ve curated a collection of two new research databases and thirteen new or updated research reports. All of the resources listed and linked below are free to access and use.

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The Research Desk: Drones, Cool Tools, Green Companies

The latest tools and resources from the Research Desk: new world of drones databases available, reports from the European Parliament Research Service, Top Green Companies in the World 2015, a handy free extension to download entire pages or individual files, and more.

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