Data Journalism Handbook released at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia

The Data Journalism Handbook – a free, open-source book that aims to help journalists to use data to improve the news – has been released today at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.

The book is an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners – including from Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, Helsingin Sanomat, La Nacion, the New York Times, Pro Publica, the Washington Post, the Texas Tribune, Verdens Gang, Wales Online, Zeit Online and many others.

It is freely available online at datajournalismhandbook.org and a print version is forthcoming from O’Reilly.

Here’s an excerpt from the preface:

This book is intended to be a useful resource for anyone who thinks that they might be interested in becoming a data journalist, or dabbling in data journalism.

Lots of people have contributed to writing it, and through our editorial we have tried to let their different voices and views shine through. We hope that it reads like a rich and informative conversation about what data journalism is, why it is important, and how to do it.

Lamentably the act of reading this book will not supply you with a comprehensive repertoire of all of the knowledge and skills you need to become a data journalist. This would require a vast library manned by hundreds of experts able to help answer questions on hundreds of topics. Luckily this library exists and it is called the internet. Instead, we hope this book will give you a sense of how to get started and where to look if you want to go further. Examples and tutorials serve to be illustrative rather than exhaustive.

We count ourselves very lucky to have had so much time, energy, and patience from all of our contributors and have tried our best to use this wisely. We hope that – in addition to being a useful reference source – the book does something to document the passion and enthusiasm, the vision and energy of a nascent movement. The book attempts to give a sense of what happens behind the scenes, the stories behind the stories.

The Data Journalism Handbook is a work in progress. If you think there is anything which needs to be amended or is conspicuously absent, then please flag it for inclusion in the next version. It is also freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, and we strongly encourage you to share it with anyone that you think might be interested in reading it.

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