When learning about a new subject or learning a new skill, I believe that one of the best places to start is with the experts. Seek them out in their natural habitat, observe, listen, and engage. That being said, my quest to delve into the world of data journalism is going to start on Twitter.
I’ve identified the Twitter accounts of some individuals and organizations involved in data journalism that I hope will give me inspiration for my writing.
The first is Nate Silver (@) the “famed number cruncher” and Editor-in-Chief for FiveThirtyEight (@), which is the second. The New York Times described the blog a being “devoted to rigorous analysis of politics, polling, public affairs, sports, science and culture, largely through statistical means.”
Another prominent pair that I am following is Ezra Klein (@) and the news site that he founded, Vox.com (@). Vox’s mission statement is simple, “explain the news.” Ezra Klein is well-known for his time writing for the Washington Post and for his continual contribution to Bloomberg News.
Next is Ben Welsh (@) editor for the LA Times’ Data Desk. In an about page connected to his Twitter account, Ben Welsh calls himself “a hack computer programmer” and says that he “[writes] code to collect, organize, analyze and present large amounts of information.” He is a data journalist.
Kennedy Elliott (@) is a graphics editor at the Washington Post. Her job is to create interactive news graphics in order to represent a story. Graphics are one of the most important tools that data journalists have to relay news to their readers.
Gregor Aisch’s website (@) is full of data projects that he’s done covering recent news from this year’s election to the 2016 Olympics to Brexit. He is also a graphics editor for the New York Times.
Max Galka’s Twitter account (@) is a fascinating collection of data representations of varying phenomena. Galka is a self-proclaimed entrepreneur and blogger, a contributor at the Huffington Post, and is “fascinated by all things data.”
Another important data journalist is Simon Rogers (@) who created and edited the Guardian’s Data Blog and is now a data editor at Google. Before moving to Google, Rogers worked at Twitter, “as the organisation’s first Data Editor working to tell stories from billions of tweets.” I wouldn’t want to leave him off of my ‘to follow’ list.
Last but not least on my list is Lena Groeger (@). Groeger is working at ProPublica making interactive graphics and working on other data projects. She is also an adjunct professor at The New School and CUNY J-School.
And I’m just getting started.