Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A 10 hour long data journalism workshop - a nightmare or not?

This post was written for my multimedia reporting class in Tsinghua University. 


Let’s be honest, when I first heard that we are going to have a 10 hour long data journalism workshop in my multimedia reporting class, I wasn’t really stoked about it. What I had in mind, was that we are all going to sit in our computers and look at slides on how to create graphs and tables in Excel. Maybe some of the trainers would even add some correlations and Pivot-tables. Fun right?

The reality was completely different – after 10 hours of learning from the best data journalists in the world I felt so motivated and happy. Because what I didn’t know, is that during these 10 hours they will not only explain me how to be a better journalist but also show me how to bind together four different fields that I am really interested in – international relations/politics, journalism, economy and intelligence analysis. The answer was investigative data journalism.

I learned that being interested in all of these fields could actually make you become a better journalist. I learned that a good journalist shouldn’t only rely on its knowledge on how to collect and present data or rely on its ability to tell good stories. A good journalist is able to bind them all together and create stories that are based on real evidence and data, but which are also personal and make people personally relate to the situation.


In addition to all the things I learned about data journalism, I also got more motivated to concentrate more of my time on learning Chinese, because well, one of the journalists Patrick Boehler spoke fluently 5 languages. I guess I still have some room to improve my skills in that field!

And overall, I have realized I study in one of the coolest universities in the world!

All the best,

Kai

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