Norman Lewis and Mindy McAdams Co-Author Journal Article on Data Journalism
Norman Lewis, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism associate professor, Mindy McAdams, CJC Journalism professor and Knight Chair in Journalism Technologies and the Democratic Process, and Florian Stalph are the authors of “Data Journalism” published in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator on Feb. 25.
The authors offered four recommendations to help educators adjust curricula to accommodate the rapid integration of data into journalism. They include requiring instruction in numeracy and basic descriptive statistics in existing course modules or separate classes; teaching students to avoid mistakes in interpreting and writing about data in both reporting and visual classes; the inclusion of a discussion of data as a transparency tool that poses distinctive dilemmas in ethics classes; and incorporating computational thinking into logic courses to encourage students to dissect and solve problems like a computer.
The authors found that the use of data to find, verify and tell stories is becoming a mainstream journalism skill. They emphasize that numeracy and basic descriptive statistics are no longer optional and are as essential as spelling and grammar.