Posted in Education, Innovation, journalism, Technology, Uncategorized

Diving into Data

By Crystal Garner, DJTF Intern

In the ever-changing age of digital media, data visualization is king.

Vitaly Friedman, editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine, an online outlet providing innovative information to Web designers and developers, describes it as a way “to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means.” Simply put, it turns information into something visually appealing.

While one of the most sought after skill sets in newsrooms across the globe is spiking in use by news organizations, marketing firms and internet companies, the number of journalists of color who are capable of producing data visualizations is flatlining. Why is it that journalists of color are not flocking to this type of storytelling? If it’s because many don’t understand what it is, the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force is aiming to change that.

On April 29, 2014 from 11a.m. to noon, NABJ Digital hosts a Twitter chat with Faye Anderson of Tracking Change, an advocacy platform to turn data into action; Zach Seward of Quartz, a digital news outlet for business people; and Samantha Sunne of Hacks and Hackers, a grassroots journalism organization. The panelists will answer your questions about diving into data visualization.

Tracking Change's Faye Anderson, Hacks and Hackers' Samantha Sunne and Quartz' Zach Seward

The task force decided to put this Twitter chat together as part of its mission to ensure that NABJ’s members have all the skills they need to be the best digital journalists they can be, said Tracie Powell, DJTF co-chair. Since big data is changing the way journalists tell stories, making sure they have the tools and the know-how to use them is important, she said.

“Being able to process data, understand it, extract value from it and communicate it is increasingly a hugely important skill for journalists in helping citizens understand pressing issues using charts, graphics, maps and more,” she said. “Data visualization is not only important because it helps journalists tell better stories, it is important in terms of career advancement.”

To follow the Data Visualization Twitter Chat, use hashtag #nabjdata.

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Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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