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JOU 4340 Writing and Editing for Online Media: Home


Welcome to the Data Journalism mini-unit within Writing and Editing for Online Media!

On this guide you will find all the resources for the unit.  During the three class periods, Josh Been, Digital Scholarship Librarian, and Ellen Filgo, liaison librarian for JPR&NM, will introduce you to ways in which you can incorporate data visualization into the stories you write.

  • During the first class, you will learn about different types of data sources, about "interviewing" or asking questions of data, about Census data and how to explore Census data using a tool called Social Explorer.
  • During the second class, you will learn about two more tools we have to create data visualizations: PolicyMap and ReferenceUSA.
  • During the third class, you will learn about Tableau, a tool that creates advanced, interactive data visualizations and explore an already created visualization.  We will also use this class to begin to search for data sources for your upcoming assignment.

Our hope is that with this guide and the lessons from the unit, you will have basic understanding for how data visualization can enhance the stories that you will write.

What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is viewed by many disciplines as a modern equivalent of visual communication. It involves the creation and study of the visual representation of data.

To communicate information clearly and efficiently, data visualization uses statistical graphics, plots, information graphics and other tools. Numerical data may be encoded using dots, lines, or bars, to visually communicate a quantitative message. Effective visualization helps users analyze and reason about data and evidence. It makes complex data more accessible, understandable and usable. [From Wikipedia]

Director of the Liaison Program
Research & Engagement

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Ellen Hampton Filgo
Jones 121

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