Data Journalism Training
Civic Media lab facilitated a training for Mass communications students of Pan Atlantic University (PAU), to expose them to the tools of data mining and visualization and how to write data stories.
The final year students were thought to use tools like, Data Wrapper, Infogram.io and Excel.
With these tools the soon to become graduates, would be able to input, arrange, and present processed data in eye pleasing ways. Data as a source of information to journalists is now a main feature of journalism in Nigeria. Market leaders like Punch and Guardian Ng are matching the strides of early pace setters- Premium times. Soon, it would be an anomaly to be employed as a reporter without being acquainted with data analysis techniques. Since wiki leaks founder- Julian Assange, began feeding the internet with cables of the closed door conversations held in the halls of power, the term ‘Data journalism’ became a fad in media houses. Tools for visualizing, mapping and expressing numbers were multiplying onPlay Store.
Well oiled financial companies began spending millions of dollars on content Management Systems with interactive data features.How prepared are the students in communication institutions in Nigeria for the reality of Data Journalism?
The craze for data visualization puts an average Mass Communication graduate at a disadvantage in the job marketplace. Their peer in economics, mathematics and other number related courses, are more primed for the modern press than they are.
There is need for active exchange between the media and the industry. It would save media houses funds for training should-be knowledgeable fresh graduates.