Friday the 25th of April, happened to be data day and the main topic was data journalism. I must admit it was the first time I had heard about data journalism. Apparently, Data journalism is a journalism specialty that uses numerical data in the production and distribution of information in the Digital era . Numerical data could range from population data, PLE results of the whole country, to the country’s expenditure budget etc. This kind of journalism shows the increased interaction between several fields such as journalism, design, computer science and statistics to produce content that you later read in news papers, watch on television, hear on radio or check out online.
As the presenters went on about data journalism and its benefits or how it has not been maximized in Uganda. I just kept thinking that being good at just one profession or specialty is not enough these days. It’s not enough being a journalist, in the future one would also need to be IT savvy. I came to a conclusion that am not a woman of all arts and if I were a journalist, I would collaborate with professionals of other specialties and let them rub onto me.
We had some great presentations. First was a Programmer, who used a software called R to manipulate the previous primary living education results and showed us a great visualization of the map of Uganda based on performance. Am Happy to say my region is among the best performers in Uganda but can’t say the same for the presenter. It actually makes more sense when data is presented beyond just figures in tables but in formats that are eye catching like maps, graphs etc.
Our second presenter was a journalist, who talked about her experience with data journalism. She said that she used software like excel but did not venture into any complicated programming languages like R. She explained that just like her, most journalist tend to shy away from the IT part of journalism thinking it would be difficult or cumbersome to do.
On a personal note the event was quite eye opening. With my background in GIS(Geographical Information Systems), I felt inspired to apply myself in Data journalism and not sit on all this incomprehensible data.