9. Data journalism and infographics in journalism education

Data journalism is journalism done with data, an ability to tell a compelling story, with the sheer scale and range of digital information now available. Data collection can be a way to collect information or can be a tool by which to tell a story. The journalistic scoop can be found by combining different data, and data can be visualized and presented to the reader as infographics (http://datajournalismhandbook.org/).

Infographics are visual explanations. They can use a combination of images, drawings, diagrams, videos or any visual items and words to achieve their goals. While data visualization is just a visual depiction of a data set, infographics go one step further, trying to explain and not just visualize.

A course on infographics and data journalism has to introduce the principles of the visual representation of information. It consists of a deep study of information graphics and digital visualizations and the use of charts, maps, diagrams and illustrations to tell stories. In this course, students will learn to create effective and beautiful graphical displays of evidence and to critically evaluate examples from print media and the Internet.

Students will scrutinize techniques used in previously published projects and will also analyse data on their own, evaluating and producing tables, charts and diagrams using a variety of basic desktop software, web tools and basic scripting and programming.

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