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Data Journalism and Media Standards

Media and Journalism
Free Course

Learn key techniques and practices used in data journalism, and the role of ethics and standards in journalism.

Description Outcome Certification View course modules

Learn about the methods used by journalists in gathering and utilizing online data, as well as the use of freedom of information requests for government and public records by studying the course Data Journalism and Media Standards. The use of blogs and the rise of the citizen journalist are also explored.


The course first introduces the ever-growing set of tools, techniques, and approaches to storytelling known as data journalism. You will learn how to find data on the web, how to request it using freedom of information laws, how to use screen-scraping to gather data from unstructured sources, and use crowd-sourcing to collect datasets from readers.

You will learn how to present data using techniques such as data visualization and news applications. You will also learn about mining data and learn to recognize the four main obstacles to the use of data journalism.

Next, you will learn about the role of the free press and the standards that are in place which describe the privileges and responsibilities of a free press in a free society. The laws, statutes, and codes that determine the conduct required of news organizations are explained. The framework of a free press is also explained, such as, what rights are essential, in order for journalists to do their jobs.

You will also learn about censorship and regulation of the media. You will review how government licensing in some countries both determines who may be a journalist and circumscribes the parameters of acceptable reporting and commentary leading to self-censorship and stifling of dissent and debate.

Finally, you are introduced to the tools and resources used to hold bloggers and citizen journalists to account. You will learn how access to electronic files presents special challenges such as being over-connected which can fragment and compartmentalize public opinion.

You will also learn how information that is in the public domain cannot be the basis of an invasion of privacy suit. You will also learn about how discipline, order and planning are essential for successful investigative journalism, and how your work must be solidly researched, well written and verifiable.

This course will be of great interest to journalists and students who would like to learn how gathering and presenting data can be used as key part of the journalistic process. The course will also be of interest to learners who want an insight into the ethics and laws governing journalism, and how they apply to both professional and citizen journalists.

After completing this course you will be able to: - Explain the use of data in journalism; - List the four main obstacles to the use of data in journalism; - Explain how to access and request data; - List the three key concepts to understanding data; - Explain data literacy; - Explain the responsibilities of a free press in a free society; - Define the right of access to government proceedings; - Explain what rights are essential in order for journalists to do their jobs; - List the four distinct and identified privacy torts; - Explain the ethics of journalism; - Explain how a blog publisher can still be sued for material he writes; - Define the classification of a journalist; - Explain how journalism enhances civil society; - List the nine types of FOI exemptions; - Explain how to produce investigative journalism to international standards.

All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire official Certification, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certification is:

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Alison offers 3 types of Certification for completed Certificate courses:

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