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Week 12 Friday [Apr.17 Zoom]


  1. Reminders – by this weekend (Sun. 4/19):
    1. Post a live-tweeting event for blog post 6 on WyoCourses
    2. Finish the live-tweeting practice
      1. Peer review on Monday, 4/20
      1. Screenshots and word doc are acceptable. Read the instructions before doing this practice.
    3. Submit the social media management critique
  2. From today till next week: New module 👉Data & Information Visualization in Journalism and Strategic Communication
  3. Today: Data journalism
  4. Next Week:
    1. Monday: Zoom on visualizing with mapping
    2. Wednesday: Self-paced class
      1. Quiz 3 on social media and information visualization (take by Sunday, Apr. 26)
      2. In-Class Time to Work on Blog Post 7 Google My Maps Project
    3. Friday: Self-paced lesson
      1. Review Canva
      2. Practice using Canva to create instagram graphic for Blog Post 8 (Instagram Promotion)

Poll: Would you prefer to work in a Zoom “classroom” even for self-paced lessons? You will have a regular study buddy to discuss the class assignments.

In This Module: Data & Information Visualization in Journalism and Strategic Communication

During this module, you will complete two blog posts. Ideally, you should start and/or finish working on them next week.

  • Blog Post 7 (Google My Maps)
    • Suggested due date:  Sun. Apr. 26 @ 11:59 p.m.
  • Blog Post 8 (Story Promotion with Instagram)
    • Suggested due date: Mon. May. 4 @ 11:59 p.m.

Data-Driven Journalism

Please talk to your partners in the breakout room about the following questions. Ch.8 provides some answers to these questions as well. Feel free to use the textbook to aid your discussion.

*If you are watching the Zoom recording, please submit a short-write answering these questions to me via email.

  1. What is data-driven journalism? And, how do you think visualization relates to data journalism? How are those concepts linked?
  2. Describe a time when you used data-driven journalism. In other words, describe a news story or interactive news that you consumed online that you believe was driven by databases. Please provide an online link to the example (if you’re able to locate it).
    • If you can’t think of an example of when you consumed data journalism, then give an example of a story that you want to see told using data journalism.

What Does the Best of Data Journalism Look Like?

These might be the most relatable data journalism recently: Washington Post; NYTimes

Professional Data Journalism Competition:

Some topics are more popular.

  • The refugee crises
  • Elections/Politics
  • Crime

🌟Data journalism projects that have changed the way we do maps.

More: 2019 Winners of Data Journalism Awards

Current Examples of Data Journalism

Let’s take a few minutes to read and view some recent examples of data journalism.

First, let’s look at an award-winning data journalism story about the deaths from Hurricane Maria. Project description:

  • We collected hundreds of stories from Puerto Ricans who say their relatives died because of Hurricane Maria but were overlooked by the government. Names of the dead were matched against government death records released by the Puerto Rican government in response to a lawsuit by CPI. Together, we interviewed about 300 families of the dead and reviewed the records of nearly 200 others using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s criteria for certifying disaster-related deaths. Given the Puerto Rican government’s woefully incomplete death toll from Hurricane Maria, CPI, Quartz and the AP investigated who died because of the storm and why. The project involved a large survey, phone interviews, a government lawsuit, that resulted in an unmatched analysis of the scope and nature of Maria’s death toll.

Take 5-10 minutes to read the STORY itself. Think about (1) how data is used to tell a compelling story and (2) solve or reveal a problem. Be sure that you explore the DATABASE during (or after) reading the story.

Then, read about the design of the project here:

  • What makes this project innovative?
  • What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
  • Source and methodology

Now, please visit the Data Journalism Awards website and find a project submissions that interests you. Click on the project and read the summary about the project. Discuss in the breakout room. In a bit, I’m going to call on a few students to tell us about what they read:

  1. What project did you read?
  2. What was the purpose of the project? What goal did it have? What problem or issue did it present?
  3. Who was the target audience of the project?
  4. How did the project use data to tell the story?
  5. Were you able to read or experience the project? If yes, tell us about that experience.

In Search Of: Data Journalists

Many news organizations are searching for journalists who know how to find, manage, and show & tell stories with data. While our class merely introduces you to these concepts, you should know that there are ways to learn more about data journalism. Here are some resources for further learning:

More and more efforts exist to improve access to data journalism skill development and training. For example, the Associated Press is helping local newsrooms around the country by providing more accessible datasets and mentoring programs. From the story…

“Data is often the strongest source for a story – it can help lift a story beyond the anecdotal and provide a common point of reference for differing perspectives,” Thibodeaux said. “But far too few local newsrooms have the skills on staff to make the most of the opportunities data journalism can provide.”

Even for newsrooms that have data journalists on staff, the time those projects takes can be a barrier, he said.

“We’ve tried to help lower the bar to entry and expand access to the power of data. The response has been incredible – local newsrooms have used this data to tell hard-hitting stories with immediate impact. The work they’ve done with this data has informed their readers and had a real effect on their local communities, and that’s what we’re all after in the end.”

In short, if the world of big data intrigues you, and you’re looking to differentiate your skill set from the competition, then consider investing your time, energy, and training in data journalism and visualization.

For this class, we dive into the world of visualization and storytelling via Google My Maps.

Download the document of Blog Post 7 – Google My Maps.doc and review the instructions.


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