Table of contents and chapter previews for “The Data Journalism Handbook: Towards a Critical Data Practice”

As we announced last year, Liliana Bounegru and I are currently co-editing a new edition of the The Data Journalism Handbook which will be published on Amsterdam University Press next year.

As it says in the introduction, the book is “a collective experiment in accounting for data journalism practices and a collective invitation to explore how such practices may be modified”. This includes broadening accounts of data journalism projects to further explore their various settings:

The collection of chapters gathered in the book aim to provide a richer story about what data journalism does, with and for whom. Through our editorial work we have encouraged both reflection and a kind of modesty in articulating what data journalism projects can do, and the conditions under which they can succeed. This entails the cultivation of a different kind of precision in accounting for data journalism practice: specifying the situations in which it develops and operates. Such precision requires broadening the scope of the book to include not just the ways in which data is analysed, created and used in the context of journalism but also more about the social, cultural, political and economic circumstances in which such practices are embedded.

We’ve also proposed “twelve challenges for critical data practice”, drawing on Agre’s notion of “critical technical practice” which he describes in terms of having “one foot planted in the craft work of design and the other foot planted in the reflexive work of critique”.

Ahead of the book’s publication next year, and as part of the process of gathering feedback on its content and our editorial approach, we’re publishing online previews of several of the chapters. A working version of the full table of contents for the book is included below.

Beyond these online previews of chapters, if you’re interested testing out further material from the book in the context of teaching or training, please do get in touch. We’re particularly interested in hearing from those who are considering adopting it as on university or higher educational courses for undergraduate and graduate students.


The Data Journalism Handbook: Towards a Critical Data Practice provides a rich and panoramic introduction to data journalism, combining both critical reflection and practical insight. It offers a diverse collection of perspectives on how data journalism is done around the world and the broader consequences of datafication in the news, serving as both a textbook and a sourcebook for this emerging field. With more than 70 chapters from leading researchers and leading practitioners of data journalism, it explores the work needed to render technologies and data productive for the purposes of journalism. It also gives a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the social lives of datasets, data infrastructures, and data stories in newsrooms, media organisations, startups, civil society organisations and beyond. The book includes sections on ‘doing issues with data’, ”assembling data’, ‘working with data’, ‘experiencing data’, ‘investigating data’, ‘platforms and algorithms’, ‘organising data journalism’, ‘training data journalists’ and ‘situating data journalism’.

| Note: Chapters in bold are included in the online beta. Chapters in italics are planned for inclusion in the open access book on Amsterdam University Press. All chapter contents and titles are working drafts and may be revised before final publication, including in response to reader feedback. | |—|

I. Introduction

  • Introduction – Jonathan Gray (King’s College London) & Liliana Bounegru (University of Oxford)

II. Doing Issues with Data

III. Assembling Data

IV. Working with Data

  • Accounting for Methods in Data Journalism: Spreadsheets, Scripts and Programming Notebooks – Sam Leon (Global Witness)

  • Ways of Doing Transparency in Data Journalism – Natalia Mazotte (Open Knowledge Brasil)

  • Data Journalism: What’s Feminism Got to Do With It? – Catherine D’Ignazio (Emerson College)

  • Making Algorithms Work for Reporting – Jonathan Stray (Columbia University)

  • Coding in the Newsroom – Basile Simon (The Times)

  • Computational Reasoning at Full Fact and Urbs Media – Eddy Borges Rey (University of Stirling)

  • Data Methods in Journalism – Christine Zhang (Baltimore Sun)

  • Exploring Relationships with Graph Databases – Leila Haddou (The Times and Sunday Times)

  • Text as Data: Finding Stories in Corpora – Barbara Maseda (Stanford University)

  • Online Devices and their Research Affordances for Data Investigations – Esther Weltevrede (University of Amsterdam)

  • How ICIJ Deals with Huge Data Dumps like the Panama and Paradise Papers – Emilia Díaz-Struck, Cécile C. Gallego and Pierre Romera (ICIJ)

V. Experiencing Data

  • Data Visualisations: Newsroom Trends and Everyday Engagements – Helen Kennedy (University of Sheffield), William Allen (University of Oxford), Martin Engebretsen (University of Agder), Rosemary Lucy Hill (University of Leeds), Andy Kirk ( and Wibke Weber (ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences)

  • Searchable Databases as a Journalistic Product – Zara Rahman (Engine Room) & Stefan Wehrmeyer (Open Knowledge Foundation Germany)

  • The Web as a Medium for Data Visualisation – Elliot Bentley (The Wall Street Journal)

  • Developments in the Field of News Graphics – Gregor Aisch and Lisa Charlotte Rost (DataWrapper)

  • Sketching with Data – Mona Chalabi (Guardian)

  • Understanding Conflicts with Data Comics – Nelly Luna Amancio (Ojo Público)

  • Data Journalism for TV and Radio – Winny de Jong (NOS)

VI. Investigating Data, Platforms and Algorithms

VII. Organising Data Journalism

  • Archiving Data Journalism – Meredith Broussard (New York University)

  • Data Journalism’s Entanglements with Civic Tech – Stefan Baack (Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society)

  • Data Feudalism: How Platform Journalism and the Gig Economy Shape Cross-Border Investigative Networks – Stefan Candea (University of Westminster)

  • Data Journalism in the Newsroom – Aron Pilhofer (Temple University)

  • Data Journalism Culture – Scott Klein (ProPublica)

  • Organising Cross-Border Data Journalism Initiatives: Case Studies in Africa – Jacopo Ottaviani & Tricia Govindasamy (Code for Africa)

  • A Decade of Data Journalism: 2009-2019 – Simon Rogers (Google News Initiative)

  • Open Source Coding Practices in Data Journalism – Ryan Pitts and Lindsay Muscato (OpenNews)

  • Data Journalism and Gender – Eliana Vaca (Chicas Poderosas)

  • The #ddj Hashtag – Eunice Au (GIJN) and Marc Smith (Connected Action)

  • Data-Driven Editorial? Considerations for Working with Audience Metrics – Caitlin Petre (Rutgers University)

VIII. Training Data Journalists

  • Data Journalism By, About and For Marginalised Communities – Eva Constantaras (Internews)

  • Teaching Data Journalism at Universities in the United States – Cheryl Phillips (Stanford University)

  • Data Journalism MOOCs in Turkey – Pinar Dag (Kadir Has University)

  • Hackathons and Bootcamps in Kyrgyzstan: Reflections on Training Data Journalists in Central Asia – Anastasia Valeeva (American University of Central Asia)

  • Data Journalism, Digital Universalism and Innovation in the Periphery – Anita Say Chan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)

IX. Situating Data Journalism

X. Reflections

  • What is Data Journalism For? Cash, Clicks, and Cut and Trys – Nikki Usher (George Washington University)

  • Statisticians and Journalists: Tales of Two Professions – Emmanuel Didier (EHESS)

  • Data Journalism and Digital Liberalism – Dominic Boyer (Rice University)

  • Afterword: Data Journalism and Experiments in Reporting – Noortje Marres (University of Warwick)

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