Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Data Journalism Handbook

There are all kinds of ways to find information. What do you do when you find it? Or perhaps there is so much of it that it requires a different approach to share the main points of the sources.

The Data Journalism Handbook is a guide written by journalists to help other journalists and people who need to deal with large amounts of information to find a way to get to the good stuff and make it visible.

There is a free web version and a paper version that will be published some time this year. In the web version you can select the chapter that most meets your needs at the moment.

The books focus is from the point of view of someone in the United Kingdom but who wants to always search American centric information anyway.

Chapters that might have an appeal to library students include:

  • A Five Minute Field Guide - suggested methods to organize your thoughts and a listing of data sources that could provide support to hard to answer questions. Some of the sources cited are the Guardian's World Data Bank, Project Wombat and ScraperWiki.
  • Basic Steps In Working with Data - how to ask the right questions and find the answers.
  • Designing with Data - because when you find it you have to do something with it. How do you present the result of your search without distorting the intended meaning?
This is a good resource for the old kit bag