Data Journalism Examples

“Data journalism is obtaining, reporting on, curating and publishing data in the public interest.” That's a quote from Jonathan Stray, a professional journalist and computer scientist. This story provides some interesting examples for you to explore, as well as a few resources (at the end).


  1. Maps can be very helpful in telling a story -- especially when the story is about changes in a country's population. This map lets you zoom in -- very deep -- to see individual Census tracts. Roll over to view details about the change in population overall and by racial groups.
  2. If you enjoyed that, you might like to see another map, also from The New York Times, but from one year earlier:
  3. This is a data project from The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization based in Austin, Texas -- the state capital. The project shows how lobbyists spend money to influence elected officials. I think you will be impressed by how much information is provided in the charts and treemaps.
  4. ProPublica is another nonprofit newsroom that “produces investigative journalism in the public interest.” In this project, they provide data about the U.S. government stimulus package to each one of the 50 states.
  5. This is a rather old example (from 2008), but I still like it a lot. It shows you how Americans answered questions about their religious beliefs, and I really love how we can re-sort the bars on the chart -- I think it makes the data fun, and it also makes the data easier to understand.
  6. One of the best examples I know for data telling a story is Gapminder. Wait for the graphic to load completely, press the PLAY button, and watch the big red dot as the years pass from 1800 to 2010. (The big red dot is China.)
  7. Gapminder is featured in this story about how graphics make data more understandable -- and therefore, graphics can help to tell stories:
  8. One more older -- but still interesting -- data graphic shows what Americans spend their money on. This is a fun graphic to roll over because you'll see unexpected categories such as "Wine at home" and "Veterinary care."
  9. This Wikipedia article is very helpful in explaining the processes that are used in data-driven journalism:
  10. This article from January 2011 explains how a data journalist at The Guardian (U.K.) does his work:
  11. This subsequent article from The Guardian is also very helpful for journalists and students who are new to the idea of data journalism:
  12. If you have time, this documentary video is well worth watching. It features interviews with many people who are creating great data visuals today.
  13. I made a few remarks about data journalism in this blog post: