Reporters still hold a crucial position in tech-centric data news production
- The Young Reporter
Comparing to computer science students that possess coding knowledge, journalism students still have advantages to enter the data news industry as they are better at making sense of data, said SOPA award winner Ashely Wei. The Caixin Vislab data news designer gave a sharing lecture on basic tools used in data news industry with students of Hong Kong Baptist University on Oct 25 at the SOPA Award Winners Forum. Ms Wei said cooperation between journalists, programmers and art directors is crucial in producing a news piece with data visualisation. "One of the biggest challenges for web designers is they know the technical aspect of presenting data but they don't know how to represent data in a sensible way and that is when journalists come into play," Ms Wei said. Wei also introduced "ready-to-use tools" to help journalists who have no prior knowledge of coding to represent data such as three.js, d3.js and Tableau. "In data journalism, trends and patterns are more important than data itself. People don't want to see details but the trend," said Wei. She divided data journalism into data and building news website. She said the main purpose of data journalism is to keep readers involved in the stories. "Data is broader than information. Journalists not only need to write stories but also need to find proper ways to present them," said Wei.