Data for Journalists
A Practical Guide for Computer-Assisted Reporting
This straightforward and effective how-to guide provides the basics for any reporter or journalism student beginning to use data for news stories. It has step-by-step instructions on how to do basic data analysis in journalism while addressing why these digital tools should be an integral part of reporting in the 21st century. In an ideal core text for courses on data-driven journalism or computer-assisted reporting, Houston emphasizes that journalists are accountable for the accuracy and relevance of the data they acquire and share.
With a refreshed design, this updated new edition includes expanded coverage on social media, scraping data from the web, and text-mining, and provides journalists with the tips and tools they need for working with data.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. What Data Journalism and Computer-Assisted Reporting Is and Why Journalists Use It
Part I. Learning Computer-Assisted Reporting Skills
Chapter 2. Online Resources: Researching and Finding Data on the Internet
Chapter 3: Gathering and Analyzing Text and Social Media
Chapter 4. Spreadsheets, Part 1: Basic Math for Journalists
Chapter 5. Spreadsheets, Part 2: More Math that Matters
Chapter 6. Database Managers, Part 1: Searching and Summarizing
Chapter 7. Database Managers, Part 2: Matchmaking
Part II. Using Computer-Assisted Reporting in News Stories
Chapter 8. Getting Data Not on the Web: How to Find and Negotiate for Data
Chapter 9. Building Your Own Database: How to Develop Exclusive Sources
Chapter 10. Dirty Data: How to Fact Check Your Data and Clean It
Chapter 11. Doing the Data Journalism and Computer-Assisted Reporting Story: How to Report and Write with Data
Appendix A: A Short Introduction to Mapping Data
Appendix B: A Short Introduction to Social Network Analysis
Brant Houston is a Professor and the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois, where he teaches journalism and oversees an online newsroom. An award-winning journalist, he was an investigative reporter at U.S. newspapers for 17 years. For more than a decade, he served as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a now 6,000-member association headquartered at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he also taught investigative and data reporting. Houston has conducted more than 400 seminars for professional journalists and students in 30 countries, and he is a co-founder of networks of nonprofit newsrooms and educators throughout the world.