|School||Cardiff School of Journalism, Media & Cult'l Stud|
|External Subject Code||P500|
|Number of Credits||20|
|Language of Delivery||English|
|Module Leader||Mr Glyn Mottershead|
The module draws on Hunter’s Story-Based Inquiry method coupled with Agile methodologies to allow students to develop investigative journalism skills within a community framework. It’s focus is on real-world issues and investigating issues that matter to those communities.
It focuses on the American tradition of Computer-Assisted Reporting (using spreadsheets, database management and interrogation, mapping and other open source tools) to gather and investigate information, including the necessary data handling techniques from information security protocols through to the use and handling of statistical information. These skills have evolved into some of the more technically-demanding skills of data journalism, for example using frameworks such as Python to build scrapers to gather data and then how to visualise it using industry-standard frameworks. These skills will be explored in practical and taught sessions to allow students to develop skills which will be of use in the modern newsroom.
The aim of the module is to allow students to develop skills in inquiry led digital investigation and will allow them to gather and interrogate information, in order to visualise it using tools such as Chartbuilder or d3.js - or to build “stories as a service”, interactive projects such as Trinity Mirror’s schools site, the work of Propublica and the BBC’s house prices app which go beyond storytelling with supporting visualisations or data explainers.
● Develop an understanding of the story-based inquiry method and hypothesis driven research
● Apply and develop storytelling skills from the Digital Journalism module
● Develop an understanding of core statistical analysis techniques and their application
● Sources of data
● Basic data handling
● Data analysis and statistics
● Data storage and sharing
● How to deal with the legal, ethical, licensing and release issues that will occur in an investigation
● Safety and confidentiality
● Community engagement and crowd investigation
● Visualisation techniques
● Story development
● An introduction to how data science fits into the newsroom and how results can be translated accurately for media audiences
The module is taught in weekly lectures/taught sessions - by both module staff and guest lecturers - which will develop understanding of the key elements of the module. The students will be expected to engage in further self-directed study. There is also a weekly whole group supervised session which will allow tutors to support students with clinics in both coding and journalistic elements of the module, to encourage problem solving and building on the assessed projects.
Please see Learning Outcomes
1. Group investigation project 70% This is an opportunity for small teams to develop and instigate a real world investigation around an agreed topic. The teams will be expected to record their progress as they use both data and community interviews to source information. Regular releases of information and insights will be shared via a project site, culminating in an in-depth data driven feature or “story as a service”. Links to both the site and substantive project will be submitted to the course team.
2. Reflective report 30% Each team member will be expected to keep a reflective journal of their learnings from formal sessions and from the project, which will be submitted as part of a reflective report into the project and its outcomes.
You will receive detailed written comments regarding each assignment. All assessed coursework will be returned within 4 weeks.
Data Investigation Project
Week 1 What is digital investigation? Project planning and setting up virtual environments
Week 2 Digital investigation in the newsroom Story as a service
Week 3 Information gathering - FOIA, scraping and ethics The ethics of the algorithm and the importance of accuracy
Week 4 Analysis - statistics, interviews and confidence Analysis of data (t-tests, ANOVA, p-values, confidence-intervals, correlation)
Week 5 Community driven research - on and offline Week 6 Telling stories with words and visualisations Week 7 Building the framework Week 8 User need and user experience
Week 9 Building the project Week 10 Building the project Week 11 Project showcase
Both the syllabus and key resources will be available via a module website. Key code examples will be available on the module Github repository (link to come)
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