Data Journalism

The Observatory on Social Media, in collaboration with The Media School and the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, is launching an academic program at Indiana University, the concentration in Data Journalism of the Master of Science in Media in Fall 2021. This interdisciplinary program is offered by The Media School in collaboration with the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. It allows students to expand their skills and knowledge to complement their existing levels of education and expertise, preparing them to enter newsrooms and other creative spaces where fluency in data science principles and numeracy are highly prized alongside writing and story ideation.

In the data journalism concentration, students gain competency in storytelling using data science tools and technology. They learn about coding, data visualization, ethics, interviewing, journalistic research methods, machine learning, and web scraping. Like other journalism programs in The Media School, data journalism retains a strong emphasis on writing and visual communication.

Students work with Media School faculty who are journalism industry veterans, as well as scholars on media and technology, political communication and the networked spread of misinformation. Luddy professors are experts in computational linguistics, network science, data science and more. The interdisciplinary program of courses includes:

  • Public Affairs Reporting: Report on public affairs issues such as government, social welfare agencies, elections, political parties, special interest groups and more at the national, state and local levels.
  • Basic Data Science On-Ramp: Master data science skills including web scraping, machine learning principles, machine learning with Python, machine learning with R, machine learning with Java and natural language processing in Python and Tableau.

Data journalism students grow as critical thinkers, graduate with a portfolio, and work alongside peers in the Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism. Each student produces a capstone project to be published by the Arnolt Center and distributed nationally.

Finally, students pursue at least one high-level industry internship during this program, and Media School faculty are standing by to help launch their career. Work in the data journalism concentration prepares students with in-demand skills that set them apart. Whether they go on to work as investigative reporters, data analysts, or interactive designers, they have the data analytics skills to tell stories comprehensively and ethically.