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The School of Data Journalism is coming soon!

Lucy Chambers - March 23, 2012 in Events, Workshop

This article is cross posted on DataDrivenJournalism.net

 

The School of Data Journalism is a series of panel discussions and workshops on various aspects of data journalism organised by the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation. It is hosted at the sixth edition of Italy's leading journalism event, the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. In these sessions budding data journalists and newbies alike will learn from experienced data journalists and data gurus how to get the data you need, how to analyse it, how to get stories from data and how to present your stories.

Registration is now closed and we were overwhelmed with interest. Altogether we had 250 applications for the workshops, most of which have 20 places each. This confirms our view that there is a need, and significant demand, for this kind of hands-on training event.

Successful applicants will receive confirmations in the coming days. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applicants, we are unable to accommodate everyone who has applied. Some more places may become available if any of the participants are unable to attend.

school_bus_perugia.jpg

If you're interested to learn about data journalism but haven't received a place in the workshops you can still attend the panels, where no registration is required.

The panels attempt to provide answers to crucial questions for aspiring data journalists, editors and decision-makers in newsrooms:

  • What can aspiring data journalists learn from the successes of the past?
  • How can data journalism save your newsroom?
  • How do you start a data journalism operation?
  • How can you become a data journalist and what do you need to do?

If you cannot make it to the festival this year don't despair – many of the sessions will be recorded and we will make sure the course materials are available online. You can also get a copy of the Data Journalism Handbook, which will be launched at the festival and which includes many of the themes that will be covered in the School of Data Journalism. If you want to be notified when the handbook comes online fill in this form and we will let you know the minute we push publish.

Finally if you're interested in learning more about data journalism, do keep in touch via the mailing list and Twitter. We are planning to do further training events on these other topics across Europe and around the world in the coming months. If you'd like us to come to your town or city, do let us know.

For the curios, here is a bit more information about what will happen in Perugia.

Panels and workshops – when and where

Times and locations for the School of Data Journalism workshops and panels have been posted on the festival website.

The Panels (no registration required)

Panel 1: News and numbers: from CAR to data journalism

09:30 – 11:00 | Thursday, 26 April | Hotel Brufani – Sala Raffaello
Speakers: Sarah Cohen – Duke University; Steve Doig – Walter Cronkite J-School; Aron Pilhofer – New York Times; Simon Rogers – The Guardian Datablog; Elisabetta Tola – formicablu.it.

Panel 2: How can data journalism save your newsroom?

09:00 – 10:30 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Brufani – Sala Raffaello
Speakers: Mirko Lorenz – Deutsche Welle; Dan Nguyen -  ProPublica; Aron Pilhofer -  New York Times; Simon Rogers -  The Guardian Datablog.

Panel 3: You too can be a data journalist!

09:00 – 10:30 | Saturday, 28 April | Hotel Brufani – Sala Raffaello
Speakers: Caelainn Barr -  citywire.co.uk; Mirko Lorenz – Deutsche Welle; Dan Nguyen – ProPublica; Aron Pilhofer – New York Times; Guido Romeo – Wired.

Moderators:
Liliana Bounegru – European Journalism Centre and Lucy Chambers – Open Knowledge Foundation.

 

The workshops (registration closed)

Workshop 1: Scraping data and cracking PDFs

17:00 – 18:30 | Thursday, 26 April | Hotel Sangallo
Workshop leaders: Dan Nguyen – ProPublica and Friedrich Lindenberg – Open Knowledge Foundation.

Workshop 2: Information wants to be free

14:00 – 15:30 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Heather Brooke – activist and author and Steve Doig – Walter Cronkite J-School.

Workshop 3: Making data pretty

18:00 – 19:30 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Dan Nguyen – ProPublica and Simon Rogers – The Guardian Datablog.

Workshop 4: Getting stories from data

16:30 – 18:00 | Saturday, 28 April 2012 | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Caelainn Barr – citywire.co.uk and Steve Doig – Walter Cronkite J-School.

Workshop 5: Spending Stories

14:00 – 15:30 | Sunday, 29 April | Hotel Sangallo
Speakers: Lucy Chambers – Open Knowledge Foundation and Friedrich Lindenberg – Open Knowledge Foundation.

Moderators:
Liliana Bounegru – European Journalism Centre and Lucy Chambers – Open Knowledge Foundation.

Two other interesting data journalism events will take place at the festival.

The Data Journalism Awards – shortlisted entries

10:30 – 11:00 | Friday, 27 April | Hotel Brufani – Sala Raffaello
In this session the Global Editors Network and the European Journalism Centre will announce the 30 shortlisted entries for the 2012 edition of the Data Journalism Awards. The announcement will be followed by a discussion on the latest trends in data journalism by two leading data journalists: Wolfgang Blau, editor-in-chief of Zeit Online and Aron Pilhofer, editor of Interactive News at The New York Times.

Precision journalism workshop 

14:00 – 15:30 | Thursday, 26 April | Hotel Sangallo
Precision journalism means the use of computer software and social science techniques like statistics to bring evidence, not just anecdotes, to reporting. Two Pulitzer-winning database journalists, Sarah Cohen and Steve Doig, will give hands-on instruction in how to use simple tools like spreadsheets to analyze government data for patterns that lead to stories. Workshop participants will learn to import data, sort, filter, create new variables using functions and to build cross-tabulations that reveal hidden patterns. They also will learn to use descriptive statistics and tools like scatterplots and linear regression to see what is normal in the data — and, more interestingly, what is abnormal. Workshop participants should bring their own laptops, loaded with Microsoft Excel or similar spreadsheet software.

Diving into Data: The School of Data Journalism at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia

Lucy Chambers - February 2, 2012 in Data Journalism

This post is by Liliana Bounegru, Project Coordinator at the European Journalism Centre, and Lucy Chambers, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. It is cross posted on DataDrivenJournalism.net and journalismfestival.com.

In the past investigative reporters would suffer from a scarcity of information relating to questions they were trying to answer. While this is still the case, today journalists are also faced with an overwhelming abundance of data. In an age of information overload, to stay relevant to society journalists need to learn to separate signal from noise in order to provide valuable insights. Journalists need to be equipped with knowledge of the tools, techniques and tactics of working with data in order to derive maximum value from for their readers.

The European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation are pleased to invite you to the School of Data Journalism hosted at the sixth edition of Italy’s leading journalism event, the International Journalism Festival. The 2012 edition takes place in the beautiful city of Perugia between 25-29 April. Entry to the School of Data Journalism panels and workshops is free. Each workshop has a limited number of places and therefore registration will be necessary. Please note that not all requests to participate in the workshops will be accepted.

What is the School of Data Journalism and who is it for?

The School consists of three panel discussions and five workshops.

The panels attempt to provide answers to crucial questions for aspiring data journalists, editors and decision-makers in newsrooms:

  • What can aspiring data journalists learn from the successes of the past?
  • How can data journalism save your newsroom?
  • How do you start a data journalism operation?
  • How can you become a data journalist and what do you need to do?

In the workshops journalists who are interested to get started with reporting with data and budding data journalists will learn from experienced data journalists and open data experts essential skills related to how to get the data you need, how to analyse it, how to get stories from data and how to present your stories.

Panels

Panel 1: News and numbers: from CAR to data journalism (Thursday, 26 April)

Journalists have always used data and numbers to produce stories…and win Pulitzers. From Philip Meyer’s coverage of the Detroit riots in 1967 to Steve Doig’s ‘What Went Wrong’ analysis of the damage patterns from Hurricane Andrew, data-driven reporting has brought valuable public service and won journalists recognition and prizes.

Whereas there may be distinguishing aspects about the data journalism of today and the computer-assisted reporting of the past, it is crucial to learn from successful examples, techniques and approaches of the past.

  • How can we bring the data journalism community and the CAR community closer together?
  • What can aspiring data journalists learn from the successes of the past?
  • What is the future of data journalism?

Panel 2: How can data journalism save your newsroom? (Friday, 27 April)

Journalism is under siege. Traditional models are collapsing. Developing the know-how to use the available data more effectively, to understand it, communicate and generate stories based on it, could be a huge opportunity to breathe new life into journalism.

  • What is the potential of data journalism?
  • How do you start a data journalism operation?
  • How can you start thinking about making money with data journalism?

Panel 3: You Too Can Be A Data Journalist! (Saturday, 28 April)

Where can I find data? How can I request data? What tools can I use? How can I find stories in data? How can I make money with data journalism?

Several leading data journalists, CAR specialists and journalism professors from the Guardian, the New York Times, Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, Medill School of Journalism and Cronkite School of Journalism worked together to answer these questions in the Data Journalism Handbook.

The handbook, the first comprehensive practical guide to data journalism, will be officially launched in this session. The session will provide the opportunity to meet and greet authors of the book, exchange knowledge and learn from them what you need to know to be a data journalist, as well as get a printed copy of the book.

Speakers

  • Caelainn Barr, EU data journalist, formerly with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London
  • Sarah Cohen, Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy, DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy, Duke University (Pulitzer prize winner)
  • Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University (Pulitzer prize winner)
  • Mirko Lorenz, data journalism trainer, Deutsche Welle
  • Aron Pilhofer, editor of Interactive News at The New York Times and co-founder ofDocumentCloud.org
  • Dan Nguyen, news application developer, ProPublica
  • Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian Data Blog

Workshops

Workshop 1: Scraping data & cracking PDFs (Thursday, 26 April)

Hands up who knows what machine-readable data is? You will soon, and more importantly, how to get it and what you can do with it once you have it!

A workshop targeted at scraping from scratch, including:
What PDFs and webpages look like to your computer – An introduction to machine-readable / non-machine readable data
The Scraper Cookbook – an overview of the key things you need to know to write a scraper
Hands on session – learning to screen-scrape. Main focus: hands on session using tools such as ScraperWiki. If sufficient interest & time, we will also touch on some of the tools & skills needed to extract data from PDFs.
Error checking – how to check what you have makes sense, spotting the types of errors sometimes introduced if you don’t get it quite right!

Workshop 2: Information wants to be free – Freedom of information requests and how to use them (Friday, 27 April)

Freedom of information requests are constantly evolving. Law changes and technological advancements make it increasingly easier to file and systematise FOI requests, and importantly track their progress through the system. This workshop includes demonstrations and case studies examining the current state-of-play with FOI requests in Europe and beyond and looking into what’s next for the freedom of information movement.

Workshop 3: Making data pretty (Friday, 27 April)

Journalism is no longer just a block of prose on a page. The modern reader often demands maps, infographics and visualisations to make the story jump out at them, particularly in digital environments.

There are a vast array of free tools available on the web to allow data-journalists to quickly and easily digest, process and display the data powering their stories. This workshop aims to give a good overview of what is currently available and delve into depth on one of the most powerful: Google Fusion Tables.

Workshop 4: Getting Stories from Data (Saturday, 28 April)

Enormous datasets can often prove extremely daunting to the unfamiliar. Mistakes and crimes have historically benefited from, and triumphs and good decisions been obscured by, a mask of bewildering numbers and statistics and gone unreported.

Large datasets often hold a wealth of undiscovered stories for those willing to invest the time into exploring them. This workshop is a ‘spotters’-guide’ for things to look out for and where to look for datasets.

Workshop 5: Spending Stories (Sunday, 29 April)

To get to the bottom of a story, you need only to ‘follow the money’. The same is true of government: budgeting is where policies and priorities are broken down into figures. Financial programming has a direct influence on all political areas: while other data on health or social help us understand what challenges society faces, looking at spending data allows us to see how government reacts to all of these.

There are many spending databases available on the web, some impenetrable, some accessible for analysis. We’ll show how we enable journalists and researchers to make sense of the data and what strategies can be used to investigate stories and policies.

  • Overview: What datasets are out there? Where can you look for more?
  • Interrogating databases, how to extract the maximum amount of data out of tricky databases
  • Tools for spending analysis, how to slice and dice once you have your data

Workshop leaders

  • Caelainn Barr, formerly with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, working on the award-winning Structural Funds investigation
  • Heather Brooke, journalist and FOI campaigner, uncovered the UK MP expenses scandal
  • Lucy Chambers, Open Knowledge Foundation, Community Coordinator for OpenSpending and the ‘Spending Stories’ project.
  • Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University (Pulitzer prize winner)
  • Friedrich Lindenberg, Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, Developer on OpenSpending
  • Dan Nguyen, news application developer, ProPublica
  • Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian Data Blog

When and where?

The Data Journalism School takes place at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia between 25 and 29 April 2012. The schedule of the Data Journalism School, with confirmed speakers for each panel and workshop, will be posted on the festival website in early February.

How to register?

Entry to the festival and the School are free. There is no registration process to attend the festival. For the workshops there is a limited number of available seats. To secure a seat in the workshops please register via this form. The deadline for workshop registration is 20 March 2012. You will be notified by email by 25 March at the latest if we were able to confirm you a seat. The workshops are entry-level. Consideration will be given to your experience, skills and motivation to attend the workshop when making the selection.

What do you need to bring?

A lot of enthusiasm and a laptop for the workshop sessions are required. Please note for hands-on workshops tablet PC’s will not be appropriate.

Questions?

If you have questions about the School of Data Journalism get in touch with the coordinators: Liliana Bounegru (bounegru [at] ejc.net) or Lucy Chambers (lucy.chambers [at] okfn.org).

Data Driven Journalism: The Series Begins…

Lucy Chambers - September 23, 2011 in Data Journalism, Events, Workshop

This post is by Lucy Chambers, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. The post contains a link to a report on the OKF / EJC Data Driven Journalism workshop on EU Spending, which took place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on 8th-9th September.

The report was written by Nicolas Kayser-Bril who attended the workshop, and may be helping to run the next in the series in Warsaw in October… stay tuned to the data-driven journalism mailing list for more on the upcoming workshops…

“Data journalism is hard, but that’s precisely what makes it worthwhile… Not every journalist has the skills, knowledge or the commitment to dig into the data…so the ones who do are at a massive advantage” – Chris Taggart [paraphrased], closing remarks

The first in what we hope will become series of data-driven journalism events, the European Journalism Centre and the OKF teamed up alongside a crack-team experts to help tackle some of the technical & research-based challenges facing the modern journalist.

I have no intention of re-inventing the wheel here by giving a full rundown; Nicolas sums up the workshop & gives his insightful ideas for future workshops in his report on the Data Driven Journalism Blog from the EJC far better than I would. You can read the full report here. But just to whet your appetite here and now, here is a snippet:

“As Friedrich Lindenberg was writing this abstruse code on his MacBook plugged on the beamer at the workshop on EU spending on 9 September, 20 journalists listened attentively as data started to speak before their eyes. In a conference room in Utrecht University’s 15th-century Faculty Club, the group from across Europe watched as Lindenberg compared a list of lobbying firms with the list of accredited experts at the European Commission: Any overlap would clearly suggest a conflict of interest.”

“More than watching, the audience actually followed in Lindenberg’s steps on Google Refine, an Excel-like tool, and was taming the data on their own laptops. At this point in time, more journalists were engaging in data-mining in Utrecht than in any other newsroom. This practical exercise was the climax of two days of learning to investigate the mountains of data produced by European institutions. Besides Lindenberg, the coder behind OpenSpending, EU datajournalist Caelainn Barr, OpenCorporates founder Chris Taggart and Erik Wesselius of Corporate Europe shared expertise with participants…”

The workshop clearly indicated that there is a great demand for practical skill-based workshops amongst journalists to help them to reap maximum benefit from all the data that is available. One person even asked for a week-long version of the workshop, covering everything in more detail!

We’ll see about the week-long session, but if you are sorry to have missed the last short workshop, don’t despair, there are more workshops coming soon!

Data-journalist? Data-wrangler? Tech geek? New to the field?

Will you be in or around Warsaw on 19th October?

We will be holding a one-day workshop in Warsaw in the run-up to Open Government Data Camp. The important thing to stress about this workshop is that we are looking to have a good ratio of technical people (e.g. programmers & data wranglers) to journalists, so that we can create smaller groups to really go into detail to get the results, fast!

We will post more information about the workshop in the coming days, but places will be limited, so if you are keen (& organised) request an invitation by contacting us now.

Data-Driven Journalism In A Box: what do you think needs to be in it?

Lucy Chambers - September 12, 2011 in Data Journalism, Events, Ideas and musings

The following post is from Liliana Bounegru (European Journalism Centre), Jonathan Gray (Open Knowledge Foundation), and Michelle Thorne (Mozilla), who are planning a Data-Driven Journalism in a Box session at the Mozilla Festival 2011, which we recently blogged about here. This is cross posted at DataDrivenJournalism.net and on the Mozilla Festival Blog.

We’re currently organising a session on Data-Driven Journalism in a Box at the Mozilla Festival 2011, and we want your input!

In particular:

  • What skills and tools are needed for data-driven journalism?
  • What is missing from existing tools and documentation?

If you’re interested in the idea, please come and say hello on our data-driven-journalism mailing list!

Following is a brief outline of our plans so far…

What is it?

The last decade has seen an explosion of publicly available data sources – from government databases, to data from NGOs and companies, to large collections of newsworthy documents. There is an increasing pressure for journalists to be equipped with tools and skills to be able to bring value from these data sources to the newsroom and to their readers.

But where can you start? How do you know what tools are available, and what those tools are capable of? How can you harness external expertise to help to make sense of complex or esoteric data sources? How can you take data-driven journalism into your own hands and explore this promising, yet often daunting, new field?

A group of journalists, developers, and data geeks want to compile a Data-Driven Journalism In A Box, a user-friendly kit that includes the most essential tools and tips for data. What is needed to find, clean, sort, create, and visualize data — and ultimately produce a story out of data?

There are many tools and resources already out there, but we want to bring them together into one easy-to-use, neatly packaged kit, specifically catered to the needs of journalists and news organisations. We also want to draw attention to missing pieces and encourage sprints to fill in the gaps as well as tighten documentation.

What’s needed in the Box?

  • Introduction
    • What is data?
    • What is data-driven journalism?
    • Different approaches: Journalist coders vs. Teams of hacks & hackers vs. Geeks for hire
    • Investigative journalism vs. online eye candy
  • Understanding/interpreting data:
    • Analysis: resources on statistics, university course material, etc. (OER)
    • Visualization tools & guidelines – Tufte 101, bubbles or graphs?
    • Acquiring data
  • Guide to data sources
  • Methods for collecting your own data
  • FOI / open data
  • Scraping
    • Working with data
  • Guide to tools for non-technical people
  • Cleaning
    • Publishing data
  • Rights clearance
  • How to publish data openly.
  • Feedback loop on correcting, annotating, adding to data
  • How to integrate data story with existing content management systems

What bits are already out there?

What bits are missing?

  • Tools that are shaped to newsroom use
  • Guide to browser plugins
  • Guide to web-based tools

Opportunities with Data-Driven Journalism:

  • Reduce costs and time by building on existing data sources, tools, and expertise.
  • Harness external expertise more effectively
  • Towards more trust and accountability of journalistic outputs by publishing supporting data with stories. Towards a “scientific journalism” approach that appreciates transparent, empirically- backed sources.
  • News outlets can find their own story leads rather than relying on press releases
  • Increased autonomy when journalists can produce their own datasets
  • Local media can better shape and inform media campaigns. Information can be tailored to local audiences (hyperlocal journalism)
  • Increase traffic by making sense of complex stories with visuals.
  • Interactive data visualizations allow users to see the big picture & zoom in to find information relevant to them
  • Improved literacy. Better understanding of statistics, datasets, how data is obtained & presented.
  • Towards employable skills.

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