Most classes will begin with a short lecture and discussion about a topic, technique or published piece of journalism that used data journalism.
This will be a technical course, but the primary goal of the course is journalistic; we hope not to get too bogged down in the fiddly bits of the latest technologies. We'll try to demystify the technological side of things so you feel comfortable getting started and thinking programmatically. By the end of the course, you should be able to ask good questions of datasets, get answers from them, and communicate them effectively to a general audience.
Class meets on Thursdays from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Kevin and Amanda will also have weekly online office hours (time TBD).
Getting started: configuring your computers, getting software, hacking 101Overview of why we’re all here and getting up to speed with github, the terminal, and all the software you'll need. We'll also show how you almost never need to start from scratch.
Asking data questions: sort, filter, aggregate, mergeThese four skills are 98% of newsroom data analysis.
Finding hidden data and thinking like a robotYour web browser knows where the data is if you know where to look.
The parts we forgot beforeTurning our text data into a spreadsheet, and also vLookup
Scraping, cleaning and Excel in the real worldWe'll contunie to sharpen our Excel skills, but with data as it actually comes in the world.
Making the sausageYou're going to be publishing on the internet for the rest of your life, so you should know how it works.
Walking the walkIt's easy to critique. It's hard to program.
Keep walking, my friends.It's easy to critique. It's hard(er) to program than we thought.
Maps and moreYou don't need to be a cartographer, but you should know about maps.
Charts, project blitzYou don't need to be a graphics editor, but you should know about charts.