Telling Stories with Data

By, Cristina Peña

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  1. Some of the biggest names in data journalism gathered in the oldest building on campus to discuss the future of the industry. 

  2. Matt Stiles, former data reporter at the Texas Tribune who currently works at National Public Radio, said data journalism allows him to use electronic records to fact check source information. 
  3. Denise Malan, investigative/data editor at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, said journalists need to forget the idea that journalists are only writers or only work with data. 


    "Get away from thinking you are just a writer," Malan said. "If you don't have support from editors to do data projects, learn on your own and show them what you can do." 

  4. Matt Waite, formerly of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact and currently a professor at University of Nebraska, compared data journalism to the Matrix. He said the web is a place where there are rules but they are made to be broken and broke rules when he formed Politifact. 

    "We stopped thinking about stories as headline, byline and copy text," Waite said. 
  5. Waite said students should not get caught up in a journalism major and instead branch out and take advantage of their undergraduate time by taking classes out of their comfort zone. 
  6. Ryan Murphy, recent University of Texas graduate and current data reporter at the Texas Tribune, said one thing he would change about current journalism degrees is specialization. He said putting students into sequences does not allow them to learn broader practices of other fields. 

    "Journalism students are put into pockets of print, magazine, and multimedia," Murphy said. "Making you specialize just takes you away from things you need to learn."
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