Data Journalism Boot Camp

Date: July 9, 2017 – July 16, 2017
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Data journalism has been in high demand in recent years, but the concept is often misunderstood as simply crunching some numbers and creating fancy visualizations to be shared on social media. This course, held July 9-16, 2017, taught journalists more than that. For seven days, participants from Moldova, Lithuania, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic received intensive instruction on what data journalism is and how to create powerful stories by using data from professionals in the field. They also had the opportunity to work on independent data projects under the guidance of these leading experts and to network and socialize with other TOL study abroad summer course participants during welcome and the farewell dinners and at a local Czech microbrewery.

Data journalism is a field worth entering, as journalists with data skills will continue to be in high demand considering that the scope of public information available has expanded dramatically over the past decade and continues growing. The open government movement has led to more transparency and opportunities for public control, and the number of public online registers, documents, and other information will keep increasing, especially as states pledge their willingness to open up more data. These databases can provide strong proof of corruption or inefficient spending to journalists, adding vivid examples and illustrations to many stories. The journalists learned about working with and visualizing data, how to work with different software applications and how data can be applied from such databases. As such, the boot camp gave the journalists the tools to find and analyze useful data that would most adequately help them in their writing.