Course Overview

Data Journalism: Special Topics – 42181 JRN 1407 2
Monday and Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
301 High Street Room 215

You can download a pdf of the 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 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 basic newsroom math and statistics.
  • Learn techniques for sorting, filtering and cleaning data sets.
  • 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.

ACADEMIC HONESTY AND JOURNALISTIC ETHICS:
Students are required to abide by Rowan University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Students are expected to adhere to The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics when reporting and creating journalistic content.

Students must also follow the Department of Journalism Code of Conduct.

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 Mondays and Wednesdays from 2pm-3pm and Tuesdays from 10:30am-12:15pm. 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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