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Data Skills for Media Professionals (2020)

Data Skills for Media Professionals

by Ken Blake and Jason Reineke
English | 2020 | ISBN: 1119118964 | 222 Pages | PDF | 5.17 MB

Teaches the basic, yet all-important, data skills required by today’s media professionals

The authors of Data Skills for Media Professionals have assembled a book that teaches key aspects of data analysis, interactive data visualization and online map-making through an introduction to Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google My Maps, all free, highly intuitive, platform-agnostic tools available to any reader with a computer and a web connection. Delegating the math and design work to these apps leaves readers free to do the kinds of thinking that media professionals do most often: considering what questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to evaluate and communicate the answers.

Although focused on Google apps, the book draws upon complementary aspects of the free QGIS geographic information system, the free XLMiner Analysis ToolPak Add-on for Google Sheets, and the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application. Worked examples rely on frequently updated data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Election Commission, the National Bridge Inventory of structurally deficient bridges, and other federal sources, giving readers the option of immediately applying what they learn to current data they can localize to any area in the United States. The book offers chapters covering: basic data analysis; data visualization; making online maps; Microsoft Excel and pivot tables; matching records with Excel’s VLOOKUP function; basic descriptive and inferential statistics; and other functions, tools and techniques.

  • Serves as an excellent supplemental text for easily adding data skills instruction to courses in beginning or advanced writing and reporting
  • Features computer screen captures that illustrate each step of each procedure
  • Offers downloadable datasets from a companion web page to help students implement the techniques themselves
  • Shows realistic examples that illustrate how to perform each technique and how to use it on the job

Data Skills of Media Professionals is an excellent book for students taking skills courses in the more than 100 ACEJMC-accredited journalism and mass communication programs across the United States. It would also greatly benefit those enrolled in advanced or specialized reporting courses, including courses dedicated solely to teaching data skills.