What is Data Journalism? Let’s start with Harvey

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Welcome to Data Journalism – Fall 2017

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.

Download a pdf of the full syllabus here.

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Finals Week Schedule

No class on Monday, December 12

Revised Final Project story must be posted by Wed, Dec. 14 at 12:30pm. NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED. (Worth 70 points) Make sure your final project has all of the required elements (ie headline, photo, 3 quotes, graph, links, spreadsheet of data, etc) and has a clear structure).

Final Project presentations (Worth 5 points) during final exam period Wed, Dec. 14 12:30pm-2:30pm

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Week 14: Mon., Dec. 5 and Wed., Dec. 7

Course evaluation

-Pivot table story rewrite. Open:

-Wednesday, Dec. 7 is a final project workday. Bring what you have.

-First draft of Final Project must be posted Wed., Dec. 7  Friday, Dec. 9 at 10am. (Follow this suggested structure for your final project article)

-No class on Monday, December 12

-Revised Final Project story must be posted by Wed, Dec. 14 at 12:30pm. NO LATE WORK ACCEPTED. (Worth 70 points) Make sure your final project has all of the required elements (ie headline, photo, 3 quotes, graph, links, etc) and has a clear structure).

-Final Project presentations (Worth 5 points) during final exam period Wed, Dec. 14 12:30-2:30pm

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Final Project Presentations – Wed, Dec. 14 12:30-2:30

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

Prepare four points (4 minutes max):

  • Give us the nutgraph of your story.
  • One thing you are proud of.
  • One thing that didn’t work out as you hoped.
  • A takeaway. What did you learn in the process of doing story?
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Week 13: Mon., Nov. 28 and Wed., Nov. 30

-Review your classmates’ Final Project pitches at https://rudatajstudent.wordpress.com/ Help each other out with ideas and feedback.

-Work on take home home quiz #5 (Part 1: Pivot Tables and Part 2: Fusion Tables) due to me by email at the end of class on Wed. Nov. 30.

-Work on Final Project Outline and Storyboard due Fri., Dec 2 at noon.

-Heads up: First draft of your Final Project story is due Wed., Dec. 7
See this suggested structure for your final project article

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Final Project Outline and Storyboard due Friday, Dec. 2

Due Friday, Dec. 2 by Noon. Worth 10 points toward final project grade

Post an update to your Project Pitch and Data Plan post at  https://rudatajstudent.wordpress.com/

At the bottom of your post write:

UPDATE: DATE

Then post the following:

  1. Post a link to a spreadsheet you are using to analyze your data.
  2. Summarize some of your key findings that will be the crux of your story. Either a paragraph or a few bullet points is fine.
  3. Provide a rough-draft or sketch of a graphic or chart you plan to use for your story.

For example, I’m looking for something like this:

UPDATE: 12/1/16

  1. Here is the spreadsheet I am working with to analyze all the five-star high school football players from 2002 to 2009.

2. Some key findings:

  • Between 2002 and 2009, 236 high school football players earned the five-star classification. Of those players with five-star ratings, 56% of them made it to the NFL. Going deeper into the data, out of the 132 players who played a snap in the NFL, 24 of them have been selected to a Pro Bowl (18%).
  • A study by SBNation found that in the 2014 NFL draft, 55% of the picks in the first two rounds were five and four-star players. The study determined that a five-star has a three-in-five chance of getting drafted.
  • Out of 23 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, 14 of them received either a three or two-star (61%). Only 3 were five-star players.

3. Here is a graph I’m thinking about making

img_5853

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