USCET Launches Data Journalism Alumni Program

March 5, 2018

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USCET is pleased to announce the launch of its Data Journalism Alumni Program. This program gives past participants in USCET’s data journalism workshops and incubators an opportunity to network with one another, share skills and resources, and organize offline meet-ups. The Data Journalist of the Month will be a regular feature of the program, which will highlight a single data journalist in the alumni group. Dong Mei, a data visualization designer at China News Service in Beijing, is the first Data Journalist of the Month this March.

“One of my biggest challenges is being unfamiliar with certain types of software,” Dong told USCET. “Another challenge is lack of knowledge. As a journalist, it’s important to know your content to tell an effective, understandable story.  I’m from an art school background, so I’m unfamiliar with topics in say statistics.”

Dong believes exchanging methodology with colleagues can be an effective way to meet those challenges. “Because we are all working on different topics each day, the obstacles we come across are different, and so are the methods we used to solve it. Through exchanging our discoveries, we can learn many times faster than trying to do it alone.”

Dong participated in USCET’s data journalism workshop at Fudan University in Shanghai last November, which she says provided her a unique opportunity to meet other people in her field. “The workshop was very rare. It provided a platform for data journalists from all kinds of industries to gather, communicate and exchange information. Data Journalism is still a niche industry; we need people with interdisciplinary skills who never stop learning.”

 

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中美教育基金(US-China Education Trust,简称USCET)很高兴宣布启动我们的数据新闻校友联络网。校友联络网为过去参加数据新闻工作坊与数字研修班的学员们提供保持联络、交流技术、共享资源、组织线下交流活动的平台。本月数据新闻记者每月将采访一位校友联络网中的记者。三月的数据新闻记者为董美女士,她工作于北京中新社海外中心。

董美告诉USCET:“我最大的困境是技术瓶颈,然后就是知识架构的不完善。你作为记者,必须要理解你要报道的内容,讲一个逻辑清晰却又引人入胜的故事。我是艺术学院出身,没有程序背景,所以对统计类的内容就不怎么熟悉,需要补充。”

对董美来说,与同事的交流是补充相关知识的好方法。“我们每个人每天的选题都不一样,遇到的问题也不一样,解决的方法也就多种多样了。团队间交流各自的解决方案,就能比个人时更有效率地解决问题。”

董美在去年11月参加了USCET在复旦大学举办的数据新闻工作坊,她说此次工作坊让她遇到了许多同行。“这类工作坊在国内很稀有。它让各个领域的数据新闻记者都聚集到一起交流经验和咨询。在中国,数据新闻还是个很小众的领域。一个好的数据新闻记者需要精通各种技术并且勤奋好学。”