Week 1 – Wed., Jan 17

In Class:
–Introductions
Course overview
–Download a pdf of the full syllabus here if you wish
Lecture: What is Data Journalism?

Assignments:
-Make sure you are clear on the assignmentsclassroom policiesreading resources, and schedule for the semester.
-Read DJH – What Is Data Journalism?
-Read DJH – Why Journalists Should Use Data
-Read DJH – Why is Data Journalism Important?
-For Monday, Jan. 22, explore and bring an example of data journalism to discuss. Follow these instructions.

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Your Data Journalism Examples

For Monday’s class (Jan 22), 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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Welcome to Data Journalism – Spring 2018

Data Journalism – 24286 – JRN 02363 – 1
Monday and Wednesday 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
301 High Street Room 215

Explore the assignments, classroom policies, reading resources, and schedule for the semester.

Download a pdf of the full syllabus here.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course is an introduction to the collection, analysis, and presentation of data by journalists for the purpose of engaging and informing the public.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
In this course, students will:

  • Explore key data journalism concepts and skills.
  • Gain insight into how data journalism is practiced in newsrooms.
  • Learn how to obtain data sets through newswires, strategic searching, FOIA and scraping.
  • Review newsroom math and statistics.
  • Learn techniques for sorting, filtering and cleaning data sets.
  • Think critically about the limitations of datasets and learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of data.
  • Pitch and write news stories using data and statistics.
  • Create basic infographics and visualizations.

TEACHING METHODS:
The course is comprised of brief lectures, readings, in-class assignments, quizzes, a group project and a substantial final project. I will conduct the course as a group facilitator and editor. Students will learn much of the content through practical, hands-on work. The course is dependent on students’ attendance, participation, curiosity, work ethic and teamwork.

ACCOMMODATION POLICY:
Your academic success is important. If you have a documented disability that may have an impact upon your work in this class, please contact me at the beginning of the semester. Students must provide documentation of their disability to the Academic Success Center in order to receive official University services and accommodations. The Academic Success Center can be reached at 856-256-4234. The Center is located on the 3rd floor of Savitz Hall. The staff is available to answer questions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations.

OFFICE HOURS:
I welcome conversations with students outside of class. My regular office hours at 6 High Street are Monday to Thursday from 12:30-2pm. I may also be available other times as well. If you would like to make an appointment, email me.

I regularly email students between classes with updates on assignments, grades, and responses to your work. Please check your rowan.edu email throughout the week.

COMPUTER LAB ETIQUETTE:
We will often use the computers for in-class assignments. When we do use them, please refrain from unrelated multi-tasking that may distract you, your classmates and me. Please silence your mobile device before class begins and give your full attention to the course work. I will do the same.

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Final Week

Due Tuesday, Dec. 19 @ 12:15pm – Final Project (Worth 70 points) at 12:15pm

Post it to  rudatajstudent.wordpress.com

Final written article (approx. 750-1250 words) will consist of:

  • Compelling, descriptive headline that uses key words
  • An image that pulls reader into the story (If you don’t take it yourself it must be Creative Commons)
  • Strong lead that starts with a real person and real events.
  • Nutgraph that states story angle. What is your story?
  • Cosmic graph – a sentence or two that puts your story in a larger context. Why should reader care?
  • Methodology – A sentence or two that tells reader how you got your data.
  • Organized story structure with key findings
  • Quotes from at least three (3) sources will something relevant and compelling to say
  • At least one chart, graph or visualization that supports the story
  • Clean copy – no grammar or spelling errors
  • Hyperlinks to additional information
  • A spreadsheet of data

See all the of the instructions and requirements.

It should follow this story structure.

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Week 14 – Tues., Dec. 5 and Thurs., Dec. 7

In Class:
Course Evaluation
Story structure for your final project
-Working on Final Project
-In class on Thursday, Dec. 7 – Quiz #4 consists of 20 terms and definitions (matching) that we covered over the course of the semester. If you want to review, go through the Resource page.

Assignments:
Outline and Storyboard due on Friday, Dec. 8 at noon (Worth 5 points)

Next week:
-First Draft of article – Due Tuesday, Dec. 12 (Worth 15 points) Students will write and post a full draft of the article. I will review it and offer suggested revisions. Post it to rudatajstudent.wordpress.com See Final Project for specific elements.

First Draft Presentation – Due Tuesday, Dec. 12 (Worth 5 points) Students will make a brief present their final project to classmates during the final day of class.

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Final Project Presentation – Tues, Dec. 12

Each person will give a presentation of the first draft of their final project. Worth 5 points toward final project grade.

Prepare four points (4 minutes max):

  • What is the main question you are setting out to answer in your story?
  • What is your methodology? What data are you using to try to answer the question?
  • What are your key findings?
  • What is the main challenge you face in completing your article?
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Course Evaluation

Please take a few minutes to fill out the course evaluation for Data Journalism.

1. Go to http://www.rowan.edu/selfservice

2. Click “Access Banner Services – Secure Area – login Required.”

3. Enter User ID and PIN.

4. Click “Personal Information.”

5. Click “Answer a Survey.”

6. Click on the student evaluations for Data Journalism

7. Complete the student evaluation.

The response are compiled and delivered in one report. All responses are anonymous. I do not receive course evaluation until all final grades are submitted.

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