Week 3 – Tues., Sept. 19 and Thurs., Sept. 21

In Class:
-Guest Speaker: Stephen Stirling, NJ.com, on Sept. 19
New Jersey Data Scavenger hunt review
Common Data File Types
Intro to scraping

-Read DJH – Five Minute Field Guide
-Read DJH – Your Right to Data
-Review Weeks 1, 2 and 3 for Open Internet Quiz #1 on Thursday, Sept. 28

Note: Rowan is hosting an event called “Big Data Careers: Networking and Panel Discussion” on Monday, September 25th – 5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Chamberlain Student Center, Eynon Ballroom. Register here.

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Week 2 –Tues., Sept. 12 and Thurs., Sept. 14

In Class:
Your Data Journalism Examples Discussion (continued)
Inverted pyramid of data journalism
Lecture: 10 common sources of data
Tools and Tips for Smarter Searching

-Complete Advanced Search tutorial (Google News Labs, 7 min.)
-Stephen Stirling will be our guest speaker on Tuesday, Sept 19. Check out Steve’s  LinkedIn profile and Twitter feed and read assigned articles:

New Jersey data scavenger hunt – Due Thursday, Sept 21

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New Jersey data scavenger hunt – Fall 17

Tools to Use:


  1. Answer each questions on the Scavenger Hunt handout.
  2. For each question, find the most recent information you can. (Note: Some may be a few years old.)
  3. Make a brief note of where or how you found the information.
  4. If you are unsure of your answer or want to verify it, try finding a second source.

Bring your handout to class on Thurs., Sept 21.


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Tips and Tools for Smarter Searching

Time to move beyond a simple Google Search…

Continue reading

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Week 1 – Tues., Sept. 5 and Thurs., Sept. 7

In Class:
Course overview
-Download a pdf of the full syllabus here
Let’s start with Harvey
Lecture: What is Data Journalism?
Your Data Journalism Examples Discussion
Inverted pyramid of data journalism
Lecture: 10 common sources of data


For Thursday (Sept. 7), do this. Explore, post and come ready to discuss an example of data journalism.

For next week:
-Read DJH What Is Data Journalism? (DJH)
-Read DJH – Why Journalists Should Use Data
-Read DJH – Why is Data Journalism Important?
-Explore http://ire.org/nicar/

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Discussion: Your Data Journalism Examples

For Thursday’s class (Sept. 7), I’m asking everyone to explore three news sites:

Come prepared to discuss the following:

1.) Describe each site and what makes it unique? Who publishes it? What is its focus and audience? What kind of content do they produce?

2.) Pick a specific article, infographic or post from one of these sites that you particularly like.

Copy and paste a link to the specific data journalism in the comment field below under Leave a Reply. Please enter your First Name (no last name or other info needed) and copy the link.

Come to class ready to briefly answer the following questions. No need to write this, just think about it.


  • What is the story or information?
  • What is the source of the data? Where did it come from?
  • How did they present it or visualize it?
  • What did you like about it? Why did it stand out to you?
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Lecture: What is Data Journalism?

Data Journalism – A Working Definition

Data – A piece of information. Data can be collected, measured, reported, analyzed and visualized.

Journalism – The activity of gathering, verifying, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information to an audience. It is also the product of these activities.

First, what is the big deal with data?

Every aspect of our lives and world is becoming digitized.

For example: Sports. Here are a few scenes from Moneyball (2011): the scout way vs. the data way

But this is happening in government, in every job, in schools and in our personal lives

What does it have to do with journalism?

Links for examples:

  1. ER Wait Watcher (Pro Publica)
  2. 2016 Election Results (CNN)
  3. DC Income Gap (DC Action for Children)
  4. Ethics Explorer (Texas Tribune)
  5. Deadly Delays (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
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