All my life I have been a visual learner. It is one of the reasons that journalism attracted me in the first place because of how visually and aesthetically pleasing news media stories could present themselves. Because of this, I have always been more inclined to look at the creative aspect of journalism rather than the technical. Before taking this class I had a one-dimensional view of what journalism and blogging consisted of but now I have definitely been made aware of much more. One of the most interesting aspects that I never knew about what data journalism. It actually is exactly what the words say ‘data’, ‘journalism’. It is journalism that includes data presented in order to enhance a story or make a story easier to understand while being visually pleasing (not a ton of words in your face!). This type of journalism got my attention right away and made me want to learn more. I first looked up good examples of data journalism to get a grip on what it consisted of. This was my favorite example:
It was done my ProPublica, a non-profit investigative newsroom that does research for the interest of the public. I was able to be interactive with the visual aspects and get information about the current extinction rates in the world. You could go from species to species and check out what had been researched over a long period of time. It made the story so much easier to understand and gets the audience involved because of the interactive elements which sparks interest.
This isn’t just something that is necessary for larger publication agencies to take part in. Other companies and smaller newsrooms across the country are involved in such visual and interactive journalism. For example, Airbnb was talked about in the San Franciso Chronicle using data journalism because of the criticisms received for the new competitive house market:
Here we can see a different type of data journalism that involves something as simple as a bar graph, but it is so much easier to understand and is very pleasing to the eye.
To do all of these interesting and visual tricks in journalism, you don’t even need to be a journalist. It is so simple to do on your own because of all the resources available online and through applications. Here are some tools that could help you to build your own data journalism:
And many more! This is something that anyone can do with any type of information and you can be as creative as you want! There are even some sites that will organize all of your Facebook data and stats into graphs and charts that could be useful for organizing how ofter you use the service.