Associate Professors of Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities Took Part in European Science and Methodology Seminar on Data Journalism

In mid-March, the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA - Belgium), which South Ural State University being an institutional member of, held a science and methodology seminar on the topic “How to Teach Data Journalism”.

The event was attended by the representatives of the journalism centres of the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Finland), Bordeaux-Aquitaine Journalism Institute (France), Aristotle University in Thessaloniki (Greece), the Institute of Journalism of Paris Dauphine University (France), teachers from many other universities in Europe, including Candidates of Sciences, Associate Professors of the Department of Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations of the Institute of Media, Social Science and Humanities Olga Kharitonova and Anna Krasavina. The participants of the seminar discussed the specifics of data journalism as a media trend of today, and areas in journalism, which is based on data collection, analysis and processing to create media materials.

“The participation of our teachers in the seminar was very timely, since these days the department is completing work on the development of a new top master's degree programme in data journalism,” said Liudmila Shesterkina, head of the Department of Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations of the Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities, Doctor of Sciences (Philology). “The programme is aimed at training future media professionals to provide information and talk about important events or phenomena, relying not on personal assessments or press releases, but on large volumes of verified data. The main task of a data journalist is to turn big data into a clear story or a beautiful visual product.”

According to many lecturers data journalism can include a wide variety of genres - from traditional computer-generated reporting using data as a source, to cutting-edge information visualization and news applications.

“At the seminar, we were able to discuss the theory of the issue, as well as the tools used by modern data journalists,” said Olga Kharitonova, Associate Professor of the Department of Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations, Institute of Media, Social Sciences and Humanities, developer of the data journalism programme. “It is quite versatile: data skills will be useful not only in the media, but also when working with corporate media, client mailing lists, PR, when creating reports for external presentations - that is, wherever it is necessary to present a large amount of data visually and convincingly. And we will definitely take these features into account in our new programme.”

The demand for big data journalists is high in the world. Major world media employs data scientists, and starting this year SUSU plans to enroll applicants to a new Master's degree programme in data journalism.

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