Cheryl E. Phillips
Topics vary. Prerequisite: COM 360.
Data and investigative journalism. In this class, you will learn how to use data to improve the journalism you do. We will cover everything from why having a data mindset is important, how to negotiate for data, analyze data, map data and most importantly, find the story in the data. You will learn how to write a story from data without making it a mind-numbing experience for the reader – and you will explore a variety of techniques for visualizing data to extend the reach of your story.
Student learning goals
Master basic data analysis skills for use in journalism and how to find the story in the data.
How to tell the numbers-packed story (narrative techniques).
Master basic data visualization techniques and understand best practices.
Learn how to negotiate for data.
Learn how to background using a data frame of mind.
General method of instruction
Hands-on data analysis and visualization work and classroom discussion.
Read as much investigative journalism as you can. Become a student member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (in lieu of a textbook). Knowing some basic data skills, such as MS Excel or Google spreadsheets will help in this class.
Class assignments and grading
Hands-on data analysis and visualization assignments, writing assignments and skills tests.
Participation in classroom discussion, class projects, writing assignments, data analysis assignments and visualization assignments.