Diving into Data: The School of Data Journalism at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia

In the past investigative reporters would suffer from a scarcity of information relating to questions they were trying to answer. While this is still the case, today journalists are also faced with an overwhelming abundance of data. In an age of information overload, to stay relevant to society journalists need to learn to separate signal from noise in order to provide valuable insights. Journalists need to be equipped with knowledge of the tools, techniques and tactics of working with data in order to derive maximum value from for their readers.

What is the School of Data Journalism and who is it for?

The School consists of three panel discussions and five workshops.

The panels attempt to provide answers to crucial questions for aspiring data journalists, editors and decision-makers in newsrooms: What can aspiring data journalists learn from the successes of the past?How can data journalism save your newsroom? How do you start a data journalism operation? How can you become a data journalist and what do you need to do?

In the workshops journalists who are interested to get started with reporting with data and budding data journalists will learn from experienced data journalists and open data experts essential skills related to how to get the data you need, how to analyse it, how to get stories from data and how to present your stories.

Workshop 5: Spending Stories

To get to the bottom of a story, you need only to 'follow the money'. The same is true of government: budgeting is where policies and priorities are broken down into figures. Financial programming has a direct influence on all political areas: while other data on health or social help us understand what challenges society faces, looking at spending data allows us to see how government reacts to all of these.

There are many spending databases available on the web, some impenetrable, some accessible for analysis. We’ll show how we enable journalists and researchers to make sense of the data and what strategies can be used to investigate stories and policies.

Overview: What datasets are out there? Where can you look for more?

Interrogating databases, how to extract the maximum amount of data out of tricky databases

Tools for spending analysis, how to slice and dice once you have your data

Workshop facilitators: Liliana Bounegru and Lucy Chambers

Organised in association with the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation.

How to register? Workshops are free entry but registration is required. Each workshop will have a limited number of participants. To participate in this workshop please register via this form. The deadline for workshop registration is 20 March 2012. You will be notified by email by 25 March at the latest if we are able to confirm your participation in this workshop. Please note that not all applications to participate in this workshop will be accepted. The workshops are entry-level. Consideration will be given to your experience, skills and motivation to participate in the workshop when making the selection.

What do you need to bring? A lot of enthusiasm and a laptop are required for the workshops. Please note tablet PCs will not be appropriate.

Questions? If you have questions about this workshop please write to the coordinators: Liliana Bounegru or Lucy Chambers.