Noob Level: Journalist (you're not alone)

Noob Level: Journalist (you're not alone)
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#1

I searched for the words “journalist” and “journalism” and didn’t find many topics pertaining to the field :sweat: So the idea of this topic is to connect with other hacks on their way to become data journalism pros!

Here are some questions to get the conversation rolling: Where do you guys work? What languages/tools are you learning to use? Are you currently working on any projects? Are there any resources you know about that would be useful for would-be data journalists?


#2

I’m not sure if I should be answering since I’m not a journalist, but you’ll love D3.js when you get to it. It’s not easy by any stretch, but it’s easier than making SVGs by hand. It’s a great library for making charts, graphs, and other visualizations of data. NPR’s web team uses it along with a custom library. Here’s the extent of my journalism: a chart on the Wage-Productivity gap.


#3

That’s pretty good! Did you use D3.js to make that chart? I’ve heard about it and I look forward to learning how to use it.

This reminds me I have a nice data set from our local utility company showing how many customers it currently has by zip code, plus the same data for 2010 and 2005. In theory I have enough data to visualize how the utility has grown by zip code in the last 11 years. Any suggestions?


#4

Yup! All D3. Once you get your head around a few of the fundamentals, the whole thing comes together as a nice, easy-to-use package.

Depending on how you have that data saved, you may have to process the file into a format that D3 can read. The hard part is getting an idea of how you want the data to be displayed. The more concrete you can make your plans, the easier it will be to write out the code. It’ll probably be a while until you’re ready to do that if you’re just starting now, but it’ll be worth the wait.