The Data Journalism Handbook plays an essential role in training journalists on how to use data. Published in 2012, it also defined what data journalism was about to become. As a result, it found a place on the desks and in the libraries of students, researchers, journalists and data practitioners.
Since then, society has changed: algorithms, big data and social networks affect every aspect of our global lives. Data journalism has changed too in order to help citizens understand data, with data.
The Data Journalism Handbook 2: Towards a Critical Data Practice, therefore, offers case studies, critiques, teardowns and practical guides on the cutting edge of the craft. A global cast of data journalists and academics have offered their insights into what made these landmark projects important and successful. Produced by the European Journalism Centre, in co-operation with the Google News Initiative, it’s a vehicle for reflection, collaboration and action.
We are launching the handbook in beta. The full version will come out in print in 2019, leaving space for the data journalism community to work with the editors Jonathan Gray and Liliana Bounegru before the book takes its final shape.
The Data Journalism Handbook 2 is therefore a collective experiment and a collective invitation to explore and change the field. You can read the first 21 chapters here on datajournalismhandbook.net.
A global data community
“It’s easy for data journalists to feel isolated. But the great thing about the Handbook is that it reminds you that you are part of a growing world community of people each struggling with the same issues. The Handbook is a key resource for every data journalist around the world, and I am so excited we are supporting its release.” — Simon Rogers, Google News Lab, Data Editor.
The book explores working with data, assembling data, experiencing data, investigating data, platforms and algorithms and organising data journalism in the newsroom. It features projects from a community of hundreds of newsrooms and data journalists.
It also reflects the global nature of data journalism today. Highlights from beyond the US and Europe include:
- how Postdata.club is assembling public data in Cuba
- alternative data practices in China by Yolanda Jinxin Ma
- reporting about home demolitions in East Jerusalem by Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Haddad
- collaborative reporting between data journalists in Spain and Latin America
- how Land Conflict Watch is documenting land conflicts across India
- narrating the story of how a number was created in Australia.
“Our approach to the editorial was to elevate a diversity of perspectives, geographies, themes and genders. We were particularly looking for perspectives from women contributors and chapters giving perspectives from the global south. We were also keen to highlight different methods and themes beyond those which were already prominent — including recognising not just established figures in the field, but also other forms of labour in this field (such as organising, training and social media).” — Jonathan Gray and Liliana Bounegru, The Data Journalism Handbook 2 editors.
Not just a textbook
The online chapters we release today are in beta, ahead of the official printed Handbook publication expected in 2019, published by Amsterdam University Press.
“The Data Journalism Handbook 2 is not a textbook or handbook in the conventional sense. Nor is it just a practical guidebook of tutorials or “how-tos”. Nor is it just a book of “behind the scenes” case studies, or just a book of recent academic perspectives. Rather the book has been designed as a collective experiment in accounting for data journalism practices and a collective invitation to explore how such practices may be modified.” — Jonathan Gray and Liliana Bounegru, The Data Journalism Handbook 2 editors.
We hope this open process will encourage comments and encounters (and perhaps testing out in contexts of teaching and training) before the book takes its final shape.
The future of data journalism is uncertain. The authors and I hope that readers of this book will join us in critically taking stock of journalism, past and present, as well as working with us to shape its future.