Data Storytelling: A Definition?

Data storytelling and storytelling with data: is there a difference? A fellow conference attendee posed this question to me during last month’s Tapestry Conference in Annapolis. After thinking for a moment, I responded that for me, the difference lay in the process. I envision data storytelling as when you’re looking at data and want toContinue reading “Data Storytelling: A Definition?”

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Keep Your Sanity While Learning to Code

Learn to code? The question populated headlines this year. The Atlantic‘s Olga Khazan set journalists a-Twitter after pronouncing that journalism schools should not require students to “learn code.” She insisted her opposition extended to HTML and CSS, not data journalism, data analysis, or data visualization, making her post’s headline feel misleading given that those can requireContinue reading “Keep Your Sanity While Learning to Code”

Telling Data Stories at Tapestry

What do journalists, surgery center developers, professors, small business owners, and researchers share in common? All take in a lot of data and must translate and present that information to others in a compelling manner. Also, all of them attended Tapestry, the inaugural conference on data storytelling. The event offered a valuable opportunity to connectContinue reading “Telling Data Stories at Tapestry”

Let Me Help: Use Data to Connect with Readers

Journalism connects people with information, and data storytelling connects narratives to individuals. The former is what kept me a newspaper subscriber for three years, something I explore in this post  on “lock-in” and resistance to adapt to new technologies. The latter is illustrated in examples such as the Washington Post’s Fiscal Cliff calculator and the siteContinue reading “Let Me Help: Use Data to Connect with Readers”

Policy Provides Context to Understand Data

How many rewards cards hang on your keychain? How many website accounts do you maintain? How much information do you share with organizations? Type your name into Spokeo and see what comes up. Chances are, it’s pretty accurate. Many places collect personal information; that’s nothing new. But combine the ability to store unlimited amounts of data,Continue reading “Policy Provides Context to Understand Data”

Data, Meet Design

 How does storytelling happen? Someone has an idea, consults a variety of human and electronic sources, sifts through the information he or she has collected, extracts the meaningful parts, and distills them into a narrative. Of course, the process is often much more circuitous than this, but a successful story must cross each of theseContinue reading “Data, Meet Design”

Coding != Scary

What attracts people to journalism? A love of language? An insatiable curiosity about how the world works? These characteristics drive journalists to pursue stories and captivate an audience using the power of narrative. They also make journalists great candidates to learn coding. Yes, computer programming, that gibberish-like collection of symbols and phrases that make ourContinue reading “Coding != Scary”

You’re a Journalist. Why are you in iSchool?

Good question. I’m in information school (iSchool) because knowing how to interview people and write stories is not enough to succeed as a journalist today. In earlier eras, mainstream media were the source of facts (re: information). Between the World Wide Web and mobile technology, facts now lie at our fingertips. We don’t need toContinue reading “You’re a Journalist. Why are you in iSchool?”