What

A list of resources for journalists, broadcasters and media organisations who want to use data in their work

Working with and interpreting data is becoming increasingly essential when it comes to corroborating facts and distinguishing them from fiction. The growth in data journalism reflects the key role that data is gaining in the production and distribution of information in a multi-platform era.

Data contributed to the unveiling of big investigations and scandals such as the Panama Papers and the most recent Paradise Papers. But data can be also helpful in presenting key information in a more compelling way such as graphics, infographics and maps. However, working with data is not easy and many reporters lack the necessary coding, interpretation and technical skills to fully harness the potential of data. Yet with the recognition of its importance for contemporary journalism, new tools have been created to make their work easier.

Below is a list of tools that may be of use to journalists, broadcasters, and media organisations who are navigating the tricky waters of data journalism. We will continue to update the list so if you think but if you think there is something missing, let us know by emailing editor@publicmediaalliance.org.


Data journalism syllabus: From numeracy to visualization and beyond

This syllabus created by Journalists’ Resource covers core data skills while also giving students some familiarity with relevant software, statistical and visualisation techniques and programming. This syllabus is informed by the idea that data journalism is practised in its highest form not when it is just involved in creating dazzling graphics, but when its methods are used to investigate wrongdoing, hold the powerful accountable and spotlight public policy failings.

[Text sourced by Journalists’ Resource]


Density

A tool to provide verified crowd data for events, such as conferences, exhibitions and more. It allows the user to measure anonymous movement through a sensor as people come and go, and produces real-time data that can be integrated anywhere.


Enigma Public

This is the world’s broadest collection of public data, available for free. The platform helps the user find specific public data, especially when material released by official agencies and government bodies is hard to navigate or is not readily accessible. You can also get a monthly list of datasets via their newsletter.


Everlaw for Journalists – Ediscovery

This tool is designed for reporters who want to find and organise key documents and embed them into their work. Most of the times, journalists have to trawl through a plethora of documents making sure they analyse it as quickly and accurately as possible, and this tool makes it easier for them. In addition, the programme will keep the documents protected with the possibility of activating a two-factor authentication.

Available for free to qualifying U.S. news organisations.


Google Data Studio 

This is a powerful tool for journalists who do not know how to code but still want to investigate and work with raw data and present it in engaging reports. Google Data Studio handles data and through a series of customisation tools creates live and interactive reports and dashboards.


 10+ Mapping tools

This selection of tools created by the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) gathers some of the best mapping tools available to journalists. The list is ordered according to easiness of use: some of them will be quick and fairly easy to use, whereas others will require some programming knowledge and time.


Mecodify

This is an open source tool created to simplify the analysis and visualisation of big data. It is particularly useful to extract, analyse and visualise Twitter data. It can compare real events with Twitter activity or measure hashtags and create representative graphs. It does not require any coding or technical experience.


Neo4j

Through its connection-first approach to data, this platform uses different operations, query languages and logical models to represent connected data and reveal invisible contexts and hidden relationships, which can help journalists make sense of larger data sets and see the ‘bigger picture’ more clearly. The platform was also a key technology partner in the Paradise Papers investigation.


The Data Journalism Handbook 

This handbook is a useful resource for students, researchers, journalists and other media professionals who want to learn more about data journalism. It is freely available online and includes case studies and information on how to gather data, how to understand it and how it can be delivered.

The first handbook was an initiative of the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation. A new second edition produced by the European Journalism Centre in partnership with Google News Lab, will be available in 2018 in four languages.


OpenRefine

OpenRefine is a powerful tool that allows you to work with ‘messy’ data. You can clean it, filter it,  transform it from one format into another and extend it with web services and external data. You can also create links between datasets and perform more advanced data operations. 


StoryLab Academy

Organised by Code for Africa, in collaboration with Google News Lab and the World Bank Group, this academy offers newsrooms across Africa a combination of online webinars, in person training, monthly meetups, and public workshops in data journalism and many other topics, such as investigative reporting, geo-journalism, digital security and more.


Zenodo

This is a research data depository, built and developed by researchers with the aim of keeping access to OpenScience available to everyone. It is a useful resource for journalists who want to look for various types of open access research data in their work. Zenodo does not impose any requirements on format, size, access restrictions or licence.