Data Journalism: Key Resources

Where It Came From: To know where we’re going, it helps to know where we’ve come from. Here’s a great history of data journalism, Fifty Years of Journalism and Data: A Brief History, tracing the field’s origins from the use of big mainframe computers in the 1960s to computer-assisted reporting in the ’90s to the current boom in data journalism. Written by GIJN’s own Brant Houston, author of Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide, now in its fourth edition.

Best Practices for Data Journalism is a 2018 guide written by Kuang Keng Kuek Ser, an award-winning digital journalist, and produced by the Media Development Investment Fund. It covers setting up and using data teams as well as tools, techniques and presentation of data journalism.


The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors, was launched in 1989 to train reporters on how to use data for investigations. It holds frequent bootcamps and other training sessions on data journalism and an annual conference. NICAR ‘s website has a collection of video tutorials on mapping, visualization, data and other online journalism tools. There’s a description of Data Wrangling and Analysis tools. It has a library of US databases. For members, there are tipsheets and additional materials, including practice datasets.

The Poynter Institute offers a Digital Tools section featuring a Digital Tools Catalog and a one-hour digital tools webinar tutorial. Sign up for a digital tools newsletter.

Getting Started with Data Journalism, a video with Aron Pilhofer (2017).

Quick Guide to Data Journalism, a 2016 “8-step guide to becoming a data journalist, complete with tools, resources, and tips” by Karlijn Willems of Data Camp.

Nils Mulvad, a co-founder and board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, wrote this article for GIJN in February 2015 about free or nearly free data tools.

datadrivenjournalismData-Driven Journalism offers a collection of resources for journalists who want to use data. is “a curated guide to the best tools, resources and technologies for data visualization,” with 21 categories that include mining, cleaning, scraping, and interactive story-telling.

Periodismo de Base de Datos provides tutorials and resources on data journalism for Spanish-speaking reporters.

The Poderomedia Foundation in partnership with the University Alberto Hurtado, published the Manual de Periodismo de Datos Iberoamericano (Latin American Handbook of Data Journalism), with tips and tutorials on data mining, deep web searches, data visualization and more.

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism offers this brief introduction to data journalism (in Arabic).

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists provides a selection of video tutorials on basic Excel functions, as well as how to background a person or company, or find federal court documents in the U.S.

The International Journalists’ Network maintains a blog of the latest trainings, tools, and resources for data journalists.

Hacks/Hackers is a global movement bringing together computer programmers and investigative journalists to tell powerful data-driven stories. Trainings offered through regional chapters.

The Investigative Dashboard provides a collection of the most useful public data sources, on corporate ownership and more.

djh-facing-left3The Data Journalism Handbook published in 2012 is an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism experts. The free guide is available for download in many languages. The complementary 2018 beta edition aims “to provide a richer story about what data journalism does, with and for whom.” The full version will come out in print in 2019.

Open Data in Europe and Central Asia produced a Data Journalism Manual (in English and Russian) with modules on understanding data, data visualization and data-driven stories.