2016 - Spring

Data Journalism

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1070

Day & Time: Tuesday, 9:30am-1:00pm

Location: Room 652

Instructor: Meredith Broussard

(SHERP and Studio 20 Priority)

In this class, students will learn to collect, analyze and present data in an immersive, hands-on course. A portion of each class is devoted to real-life examples, emphasizing the skills newsrooms want. How can web scripting help a reporter track down runners who may have witnessed explosions in the Boston Marathon bombings? How can a map illustrate the challenges in developing gun policy? Why is data cleaning required to uncover the influence of money in visits to the White House? More than ever, these new ways of telling stories require data skills.

Fluency with data and the ability to ask and answer questions from structured information sources can help any journalist, whether she’s a radio producer, magazine writer or digital producer. While the course’s main goal is journalistic, not technical, students will acquire a variety of new skills in data visualization, data analysis, and digital production. In the process, students will learn how to use data to strengthen and improve their reporting process.

Student-created projects will influence the path of the class: in a given semester, we may create infographics, investigate current political or economic issues, or develop innovative newsapps. The Spring 2016 class will focus on political data in anticipation of the 2016 presidential election.
Prior experience is not assumed, nor is it necessary. Students are expected to be comfortable with learning software beyond basic social media or word processing, and should be willing to learn new technology skills.