Assignment for Tuesday 1/26

1) We’ve read a little about the promise of data journalism. Read Nate Silver’s What the Fox Knows for a little more. Now read some general critiques of data journalism: This is Why Data Journalism is Failing + The Emptiness of Data Journalism + The Data Journalism That Wasn’t. What do you make of all this? Leave a comment on this post with some thoughts by Monday 1/25 at 3 p.m. Then respond to two classsmates’ comments before class starts at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

2) Complete this getting-to-know-Google-Sheets tutorial and read this getting-started guide to Google Sheets. Start a Sheet and share with me at

Assignment for Thursday 1/21

1) Read Mary Jo Webster’s “What is a data state of mind?”

2) Think of a story you’ve written (or read) for which you (or the reporter) could have quantified or measured something to help strengthen the reporting and/or better tell the story.

3) Write a brief summary of the story (who wrote it? for whom? when?) and then describe how the quantification/measuring could have helped. Include a link.

Assignment for Tuesday 1/19

1) Read Paul Bradshaw’s intro to and part 2 of The Data Journalism Handbook. Then, read Paul’s short piece on the inverted pyramid of data journalism. In the comments of this post, write in your  own words a 1- to 2-sentence definition of data journalism.

2) Look for an email from WordPress inviting you to be a user of

3) If you weren’t in class on Thursday and didn’t fill out this student questionnaire, please do that asap.

4) Also, please remember to let me know if you’re taking this class as a depth writing or media capstone credit. (Some of you may not be taking it as either. Let me know in that case, too.)