Data Journalism 101: Self-guided training

by October 22, 2013

The free, two-part webinar, Data Journalism 101, was originally held Oct. 22-23, 2013.

Data Journalism 101 was later held as a three-hour, hands-on workshop at the Excellence in Journalism Conference in Nashville on Sept. 4, 2014. Materials for that session are listed below.

Michael J. Berens won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, and calls databases, especially those you put together yourself, the “secret ingredient” in award-winning work.”

Indeed, poke behind the winners of most major investigative awards from the Pulitzer to Barlett & Steele to the Loebs, and you’ll usually find a database.


For ‘Seniors for Sale,’ Berens built a database that revealed 230 unreported deaths in adult family homes. Image courtesy The Seattle Times.

On Day One, how to:

  • Identify potential databases for any story
  • Negotiate for public data
  • Read and manipulate data
  • Find unique stories in data

On Day Two, how to:

  • Create your own database
  • Find data stories in paper records
  • Understand the fundamentals of Excel
  • Use the techniques behind award-winning stories

Michael Berens is a reporter for The Seattle Times and a winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He previously worked for the Chicago Tribune and The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, where he began as a copy boy in 1981.

Berens is a frequent journalism trainer for various media-related organizations and is a former adjunct professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Berens’ work has received dozens of national awards, including multiple honors from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers; the National Press Club; the White House Correspondents Association; and Investigative Reporters and Editors; and Associated Press Media Editors. Berens was the 2011 bronze award winner in the Reynolds Center’s Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism.


Check out the session materials below for a primer on enhancing your reporting with data.

Webinar Session Recordings


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