Blog post 19: Exploring data journalism

The intention of this assignment is for you to discover, by yourself, what people in journalism are saying about data skills and programming skills for journalists today. This is NOT about HTML, CSS or Web page design. The topic is data, data journalism, data-driven journalism, and programming. It includes Excel, computer languages such as Python, frameworks such as Ruby, databases and large data sets, Big Data, etc.

Do several Google searches, using different search terms. Find articles about these topics, and go to different professional sites, industry sites, and/or blogs about journalism. You might find some articles in newspapers, but the better sources will be the sites about journalism.

You must read enough different material to be able to write a blog post about the consensus, the zeitgeist, the general attitude, toward programming skills and journalism today, in 2013. This assignment is intended to open your eyes, to inform you.

Investigate. Question. Seek answers.

Requirements for your blog post

  1. The length must be (minimum) 300 to (maximum) 500 words.
  2. Write intelligently so that a prospective employer, reading your post, will think you are smart. You audience is a prospective employer. (There’s no shame in admitting you are learning about this stuff for the first time.)
  3. Include a bulleted list of links to the articles, blog posts, etc., that you found most useful to read. Please be selective. That is, don’t include anything that was not interesting or helpful. You should be able to find at least three articles from different sites and authors. And you should not need to copy what other students have found. (Links are most helpful when the text says something meaningful — not just a raw URL.)
  4. Summarize what you have learned from your investigation.
  5. State your opinion about what you have learned.
  6. Write an appropriate and interesting headline for your blog post.
  7. After you publish your blog post ON YOUR OWN BLOG, copy the URL of your post page and paste it in a REPLY to this post, here, on this blog.

Please read about grading criteria for blog posts in this course. Those criteria apply to all blog post assignments.


Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m.

Your reply posted here must be submitted before 09:00:00 in order to receive credit.


About Mindy McAdams
I teach courses about digital journalism at the University of Florida. I love to travel. I ride a Vespa. You can find me on Twitter (@macloo).

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