Few reporters in newsrooms across the globe have formal data training, a recent Global Data Journalism survey has found. One of the reasons is that even though they have journalism qualifications at an undergraduate or graduate level, reporters don't necessarily receive in depth training in aspects such as statistics, coding or data science as part of their degrees.
In this article on MediaShift, Cheryl Phillips, Lorry I. Lokey visiting professor in professional journalism at Stanford University, outlines some ideas for how data skills can be taught as part of a journalism degree that doesn't necessarily include a separate course on it.
Data journalism can be included as part of the writing and reporting modules each programme has, she explains, and lecturers can also take advantage of online classes and MOOCs taught by experts in the field.
"Don’t teach software, teach critical thinking. Provide a brief hands-on Q&A session in class for those who ran into trouble. Then, use the class to discuss possible stories in the data and help students identify what makes a story."