Data journalism: More important than ever?

In an era where fake news is fashionable, data can help distinguish the facts from the fiction. But how do you interrogate a spreadsheet and hold the data to account? And how can journalists use data to find stories?

The BBC has placed the "interrogation of data" at the heart of its annual plan for 2017/18 and subsequent three-year strategy. Around 12 new staff are being recruited, including data journalists, data scientists, developers, designers, a cartographer, and a first head of statistics who will start in August 2017. 

Data is clearly becoming an increasingly important storytelling tool. But is data journalism new? And is it a specialist skill or can anyone do it? 

In this podcast you will learn:

  • the skills you need to be a data journalist
  • what makes a good data story
  • if you need to know how to code or be good at maths to create stories
  • how 'scripting' can be useful when working with data
  • how long it takes to learn the spreadsheet skills you need to work on data stories 
  • how quickly you can go from idea to publication

I really hope that sometime in the future we drop the term 'data journalism' because it's just journalism

– Helena Bengtsson

Presenter Daniel Wainwright of the BBC England Data Unit is joined by BBC data journalism editor John Walton, Guardian data projects team editor Helena Bengtsson and Paul Bradshaw who leads the new MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University.


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