Data science in the public interest, ‘digital media data gurus’, and a comic about dirty data.

Insights and links from the data journalism beat

Data science in the public interest is en vogue, as collaborations between data scientists, nonprofits and human rights groups are springing up everywhere. Journalists at the Knight Foundation are following suit. This week, the foundation gave details about it’s $2 million Knight News Challenge for health-related data projects. The “inspiration phase” launching next month invites citizens, journalists, and community groups anywhere in the world to dream up ideas about how to turn public data sets into useful information that could improve the health of communities.

Over at the Neiman Journalism Lab, a journalism professor writes that we are now entering the age of the “Digital Media Data Guru,” a person with a hybrid of computer science and journalism skills who is able to “do it all” in the newsroom, and recommends that journalism schools prepare students for the data-centered work ahead of them.

Perhaps heeding the call to create more “digital media data gurus,” UC Berkeley announced that it will offer the country’s first online master’s degree in information and data science, starting in January. With it’s well-regarded J-School, Berkeley could very well become an ideal site for collaboration between journos and data scientists.

For beginning “digital media data gurus”, the Knight Center for Journalism has opened registration for a new free MOOC (massive open online course) about the basics of data-driven journalism. Instructors include data journalists from NPR, ProPublica, and the New York Times. The MOOC runs from August 12 to September 16.

Finally, Emily DeMarco, a fellow with the investigative news organization PublicSource, attended the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in San Antonio last month, and apparently doodled many of her session notes. I leave you with: Lessons In Cleaning Dirty Data: a comic!

Until next week….

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