Journalists use statistics on a nearly daily basis, but visualizing data is a different story. With a boom in tools and apps to generate infographics and more, this could be changing. One such tool is Datawrapper, developed by Deutsche Welle New Media staffer Mirko Lorenz. “It’s a tool for getting started with data-driven journalism,” Lorenz said. He came up with the idea, and developed it with two programmers. “We didn’t just want to make showy charts, it’s really about the right diagram for the data at hand,” Lorenz said.
Editing desks around the world have been experimenting with the tool, including the Guardian data blog, Le Monde, a Dortmund regional newspaper – and of course, the Deutsche Welle. Datawrapper is open-source, and can be freely downloaded – it’s available in English, German and French.
In an interview with DW Akademie, Lorenz clarified what he thinks the “right” portrayal of data is all about, and explained the advantages of Datawrapper for journalists.
Tagsafrica, data journalism, datawrapper, graphics, information graphics, innovation, investigative journalism, online journalism
Guy Degen is a freelance journalist and trainer and is always looking for innovative ways to use mobile devices for reporting.
Guy shares with us the equipment that make up his basic kit for using a mobile phone for reporting.
“A smartphone is a good investment for all journalists. It’s a powerful multimedia tool. You can travel lightweight yet still produce good quality photos, video and audio materials and stay in touch with social media networks. At the moment the iPhone and Android operating phones are regarded as the best multimedia smartphones for journalists. The most important thing is to know how your phone and applications work before tackling a big story. Learn through play.”
Social media such as Facebook and Twitter allow reporters to share their work with audiences worldwide, provide them with direct feedback and are a useful and up-to-date source of information which helps to dig out new stories. And social media are becoming increasingly visual. The best example is the development of the social platform Pinterest. With more than 10 million users, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site in history. Let’s have a look at how this digital pinboard site can be used by newsrooms around the globe.
Google Chrome might well become the world’s popular browser this year. It has already overtaken Mozilla Firefox and is well positioned to overtake Internet Explorer whose share sunk to from 46 to 38,5 percent last year. Chrome is extremely easy to browse and offers a number of useful extensions and apps. Recently, Google has redesigned Chrome’s interface which means you can now shift between most visited sites and Chrome apps. You can significantly increase your browser’s functionality by using them. Here are 20 free apps that you as journalist will love.
TagsAviary Audio Editor, Ge.tt, Google Chrome apps, iPiccy Photo Editor, Natalia Karbasova, productivity, Quick Note, Read Later Fast, Scribble, Transcribe, Yoono
Equipment: Video Journalist
Gerlind Vollmer has been working as a freelance VJ reporter for Deutsche Welle since 2006. She has been working as a project manager and trainer at Deutsche Welle’s training center DW Akademie in Berlin since 2009. She takes us behind the scenes and shows which equipment she uses in the field to produce her VJ reports.
“It is important that a VJ journalist remains mobile and flexible. That’s why I’m no fan of dragging a heavy tripod along and often leave it at home. I can always find a chair, a table or a wall which can serve as a perfect tripod. On the spot, I’m mostly concerned with everything being at hand the very minute I need it, that’s why I always put on trousers with a lot of roomy pockets. Also, a VJ should never forget to put the headphones on while shooting – never ever!”