Featured Long Read

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Covering issues

  • Beginner
  • 16 min

From handling projections and estimates to navigating company reports, veteran journalist Erik Sherman explains how to use data to tell more understandable and accessible business stories.

Mastering data for better business journalism

From handling projections and estimates to navigating company reports, veteran journalist Erik Sherman explains how to use data to tell more understandable and accessible business stories.

Reporting beyond the case numbers: How to brainstorm COVID-19 data story ideas

While many journalists around the world report the daily infection rate and death toll of COVID-19, audiences are seeking other stories that show the impact of the virus on their lives. How can journalists tell those wider stories with data?

Simulating a pandemic

The most-read piece on The Washington Post's website visualised how pandemics like COVID-19 spread and how social distancing can flatten the curve. We explore the impact of the simulations and how graphics reporter Harry Stevens did it.

Data, diets and disease

Public health reporting has the potential to empower communities. Yet, medical research is easy to misreport. Aneri Pattani explains how to understand medical research data, challenge it, and, of course, report it accurately and ethically.

Bringing the power of data to deadline stories

There’s often a perception that data journalism is reserved for investigative projects or in-depth reporting. MaryJo Webster explains how to tell powerful quick turnaround stories with data -- all on a deadline.

The unspoken rules of visualisation

Designers often follow a set of strict conventions when creating visualisations. Kaiser Fung examines the fundamental rules of data visualisation, why they are important, and when it is okay to break them.

Putting data back into context

Data are never neutral ‘givens’, but always situated in a particular context, collected for a particular reason -- and it’s crucial that data journalists understand these.

The unspoken rules of visualisation

Designers often follow a set of strict conventions when creating visualisations. Kaiser Fung examines the fundamental rules of data visualisation, why they are important, and when it is okay to break them.

The essential lies in news maps

In order to display three-dimensional world we live in, journalists are forced to distort reality. And every map does so in its own way. Maarten Lambrechts looks at commonly used maps and how to avoid being misled by them.

Designing data visualisations with empathy

How do you get audience members, much less the journalists presenting a story, to walk a mile in the shoes of a dot? Or a bar chart? P. Kim Bui provides three approaches for achieving empathy in data visualisations.

Privacy and data leaks

From the Snowden revelations to the Panama Papers, reporters and editors face complex decisions when it comes to reporting on leaked data.

The dos and don'ts of predictive journalism

Bad predictions, especially in high-stakes stories, can be more than confusing and misleading -- they can be dangerous. G. Elliott Morris draws on examples from political journalism to describe some guidelines for good predictive journalism.

G. Elliott Morris
The essential lies in news maps

In order to display three-dimensional world we live in, journalists are forced to distort reality. And every map does so in its own way. Maarten Lambrechts looks at commonly used maps and how to avoid being misled by them.

Putting data back into context

Data are never neutral ‘givens’, but always situated in a particular context, collected for a particular reason -- and it’s crucial that data journalists understand these.

Spreadsheets for journalism

Many journalists see themselves as “word people” and shy away from writing about numbers. Brant Houston shows how to embrace math with an overview of spreadsheets and functions for beginners.

Designing data visualisations with empathy

How do you get audience members, much less the journalists presenting a story, to walk a mile in the shoes of a dot? Or a bar chart? P. Kim Bui provides three approaches for achieving empathy in data visualisations.

Evidence of a solution: using data to report more than just bad news

While data journalists often produce rigorous reporting about social issues, there is less on responding to the same problems. Brent Walth provides an overview of solutions journalism frameworks, and why they're important for data journalism.

Data journalism on the blockchain

When we talk about blockchain and journalism, the focus is often on trust and sustainability. But the technology also opens up a whole new world of data for journalists to explore.

Data Journalism Handbooks

The Data Journalism Handbook 2

Towards a Critical Data Practice

What is data journalism? What is it for? What might it do? What opportunities and limitations does it present? Who and what is involved in making and making sense of it?

The new edition of the Data Journalism Handbook explores new and innovative ways in which data is analysed, created and used in the context of journalism. And beyond that: it also reflects on the social, cultural, political and economic circumstances in which data journalism is embedded.

The Data Journalism Handbook 1

How Journalists Can Use Data to Improve the News

When you combine the sheer scale and range of digital information now available with a journalist’s "nose for news" and her ability to tell a compelling story, a new world of possibility opens up. Explore the potential, limits, and applied uses of this new and fascinating field.

This valuable handbook has attracted scores of contributors since the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation launched the project at MozFest 2011. Through a collection of tips and techniques from leading journalists, professors, software developers, and data analysts, you’ll learn how data can be either the source of data journalism or a tool with which the story is told—or both.

Conversations with Data, newsletters

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May 2020

Issue #52: Detecting deepfakes

In this week's Conversations with Data podcast, Buzzfeed's Craig Silverman spoke with Sam Gregory, Programme Director at WITNESS. They discussed synthetic media and the tools and techniques journalists need to detect fakery online.

April 2020

Issue #51: Debunking disinformation

In this week's Conversations with Data podcast, Buzzfeed's Craig Silverman spoke with Dr. Claire Wardle, executive director at First Draft about the tools and techniques journalists need to spot, monitor and debunk disinformation campaigns.

April 2020

Issue #50: Data uncertainty & COVID-19

In this week's Conversations with Data podcast, we spoke with Dr. Siouxsie Wiles, an Associate Professor from the University of Auckland about the science and uncertainty behind COVID-19.

April 2020

Issue #49: Visualising stories around COVID-19

In this week's Conversations with Data, with data visualisation expert Amanda Makulec about how to create understandable charts, graphs, and maps that better explain complexity in the uncertain times of COVID-19.

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