Newspaper reporter is the worst job of 2013 according to the latest survey by Careercast.com and journalism reporter in general is considered one of the 10 worst jobs for the future according to Kiplinger. But Cezary Podkul, a data reporter with Reuters in New York, is optimistic about the future. “The reason I am optimistic is because of what I see happening right where I am in New York,” explains Podkul, who participates in a weekly data meetup group. He is excited that “every week there is something new to share” and “new skills to pick up.”
Nil Patel, an editorial production assistant with The New Yorker was one of the winners of our recent Bicoastal Datafest. He won the Best in Insight Prize at the event at Columbia University. His project Does Congress Really Suck? tries to evaluate Congress’s efficacy in an easy to understand way that is also visually grasping. He sees a “huge potential” in data journalism but also thinks that is “time consuming” and “hard.” That’s why we need, he says, tools to make visualizations easier.
The Bicoastal Datafest has proved a valuable experience for me. It was also rewarding to see the excitement among the participants and watch their wonderful presentations. I wish to thank all the participants for their generosity with their time and energy and I encourage them to submit their projects to the Data Journalism Awards. Needless to say, my deep appreciation extends to our judges, keynote speakers and workshop trainers who kindly contributed their time and expertise.
The Datafest was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to learn. It has also produced some very interesting insights and illuminated possible ways forward. Ten teams of journalists, scientists and engineers worked incredibly hard and with a lot of enthusiasm, some of them – through the night. They used a wide array of tools, methods and techniques. Their efforts have generated some very intriguing results. Some projects show good potential for further development.
We had six amazing judges this past weekend at the Datafest. They had to make very difficult choices. Here is a collection of some of their comments about the teams that participated in the event:
We had a great time at the Datafest at Stanford this past weekend. The event produced valuable insights into what kind of things can be done in computational reporting. There were ten teams working on different projects and their members were incredibly enthusiastic. Team Awesome, Team Gophers, Team Z, Team KeyStoners, Team Donkey vs Elephant$, Team G8tor, Team Black Cobra, Team Most Excellent, Team Frienemies and Team Eagle… thank you all for being so wonderful!