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Best practices

  • Intermediate
  • 16 min

Machine learning can help journalists analyse massive datasets and pinpoint misclassifications for their investigative reporting. Monika Sengul Jones explains how through examining a series of case studies from ICIJ to Buzzfeed News, Grist and more.

Bring in the machines: AI-powered investigative journalism

Machine learning can help journalists analyse massive datasets and pinpoint misclassifications for their investigative reporting. Monika Sengul Jones explains how through examining a series of case studies from ICIJ to Buzzfeed News, Grist and more.

The power of data storytelling for lifestyle journalism

Data journalism can go beyond hard news. Sabrina Faramarzi explains how journalists can inject data into their fashion, music, consumer, travel and other lifestyle stories.

Sabrina Faramarzi
Investigating troubling content on Amazon

A team of researchers, journalists and students collaborated to investigate online conspiracy theories online. This is how they did it.

Turbulent with a chance of data: Journalism’s drone-powered futures

Drone journalism isn't just for photojournalists. News organisations can use sensors and mapping technology from UAVs to create a range of data sets for storytelling, explains Monika Sengul-Jones.

Excel dynamic array functions: what data journalists need to know

Excel 365’s dynamic array functions and their radically new and powerful take on formulas will help put you and the data on speaking terms, writes Abbott Katz. Here's how journalists can take advantage of the full potential of Excel spreadsheets.

A data journalist's guide to building a hypothesis

How can journalists use a hypothesis-driven methodology to build a succinct narrative that serves forgotten or overlooked communities? Eva Constantaras and Anastasia Valeeva share their expertise in our latest guide.

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.

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?

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.

10 data journalism projects that made an impact in 2020: our ultimate COVID-19 roundup

DataJournalism.com celebrates some of the most noteworthy covid-related data stories of 2020.

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.

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.

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Learning paths into data journalism

Becoming a data journalist can be a tricky endeavour. In this article, we hear how these journalists and academics carved out a role for themselves and made it happen.

8 must-read newsletters for data journalists

Take a look at this collection of the best newsletters on data journalism. Stay up to date by subscribing to them.

6 data journalism podcasts you should be listening to

Take a look at this collection of the best podcasts on data journalism. Stay up to date by following these six great resources!

10 good reasons to learn data journalism now

Journalists are embracing the power of data journalism and data visualisation. Here are 10 reasons why you should try it out for yourself and your newsroom.

Our Handbooks

Verification Handbook 3

For Disinformation And Media Manipulation

The latest edition of the Verification Handbook arrives at a critical moment. Today’s information environment is more chaotic and easier to manipulate than ever before. This book equips journalists with the knowledge to investigate social media accounts, bots, private messaging apps, information operations, deep fakes, as well as other forms of disinformation and media manipulation.

The book is published by the European Journalism Centre and supported by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

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.

Verification Handbook 2

A Guide To Online Search And Research Techniques For Using UGC And Open Source Information In Investigations

Based on the conclusions of the first book, this second edition of the Verification Handbook sheds light on the use of open data and open source information to produce critical journalistic investigations. As new challenges have emerged in the digital sphere, wider opportunities to carry out more comprehensive investigations have arisen as well. The authors of the book take the reader on a walk-through to hone their online investigation tactics, providing them with step-by-step guidance to apply research, fact-checking, and data journalism techniques.v

Verification Handbook 1

A Definitive Guide To Verifying Digital Content For Emergency Coverage

The first edition of the Verification Handbook has become a definitive reference for professionals worldwide. This book laid the foundations for the process of digital content verification and opened a necessary debate about the steps to follow for ensuring the accuracy of reporting within emergency situations. Used by educators and journalists of any level, this pioneering book is an essential read for learning about the best-practices for verifying user-generated content and developing appropriate verification processes.

Conversations with Data, newsletters

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December 2021

Issue #87: Uncovering systemic inequality with data

In our latest Conversations with Data episode, we caught up with Sinduja Rangarajan, Bloomberg's investigative data reporter. She spoke to us about using data to find systemic inequalities on the immigration beat.

November 2021

Issue #86: Vaccinating Europe's undocumented: A policy scorecard

In this latest newsletter and podcast, data journalist Eva Constantaras and data scientist Htet Aung talk to us about examining the health and immigration policies of Europe's undocumented people.

November 2021

Issue #85: Exploring data journalism in Brazil

In this latest newsletter, data journalist and social entrepreneur Natalia Mazotte talks to us about the media landscape in Brazil, along with her chapter in the second data journalism handbook and its release in Portuguese.

October 2021

Issue #84: Inside the Pandora Papers

Our latest newsletter features an interview with ICIJ's Pierre Romera. He takes us behind the scenes of the Pandora Papers by explaining the tools and processes used to orchestrate the world's largest data investigation of its kind.

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