The Data Journalism Handbook: Towards a Critical Data Practice (Amsterdam University Press, 2021) 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 50 chapters from leading researchers and practitioners of data journalism, it explores the work needed to render technologies and data productive for journalistic purposes. It also gives a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the social lives of datasets, data infrastructures, and data stories in newsrooms, media organizations, startups, civil society organizations and beyond. The book includes sections on ‘doing issues with data’, ‘assembling data’, ‘working with data’, ‘experiencing data’, ‘investigating data, platforms and algorithms’, ‘organizing data journalism’, ‘learning data journalism together’ and ‘situating data journalism’.
You can download an open access PDF of the book here (OAPEN) or here (King’s College London) and you can read more about the book in this blog post and on this Twitter thread.
Translations are available in Greek, Japanese, Portuguese.
To accompany the book there is an open access printable set of cards for the “twelve challenges for critical data practice”, as well as a repository of free/open source and open access resources for learning and doing data journalism.
Quotes about the book
“This is a stellar collection that spans applied and scholarly perspectives on practices of data journalism, rich with insights into the work of making data tell stories.”
– Kate Crawford, New York University
“This stimulating new book offers researchers and journalists alike the welcome chance to reflect critically on how important new uses of quantification are inspiring what has become known as data journalism. The variety of voices, data, and examples are revelatory.”
– Wendy Espeland, Northwestern University
“It is now established that data is entangled with politics and embedded in history and society. This bountiful book highlights the crucial role of data journalists as users and critics of data, and in facilitating public engagement and discussion around it.”
– Emmanuel Didier, Ecole normale supérieure
“Profound and practical, this sparkling collection engages the topic of data journalism with rich insights into the nature of numbers in the news.”
– Geoffrey C. Bowker, University of California, Irvine
“This book is an impressive feat. Bounegru and Gray have put together a truly global and diverse collection that greatly enriches our understanding of the politics of data and what it means for journalism. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, this contribution is more important than ever.”
– Lina Dencik, Cardiff University
“Ostensibly focused on data journalism, this handbook is so much more, providing an overarching analysis of much of the emerging field of critical data studies. Journalists and others interested in how to assemble, work with, make sense of, apply, and critically reflect on data and their uses will revel in the extensive theoretical and practical insights.”
– Rob Kitchin, Maynooth University
“The Data Journalism Handbook is an indispensable resource for students, researchers, and journalists who want to understand how data are translated into information, information in knowledge and, ultimately, wisdom. That itinerary all starts with a full comprehension of how data reflect, construct and shape our social reality.”
– José van Dijck, Utrecht University
“The variety, diversity, and depth of the contributions to this collective effort make this book a required reading for beginners and professionals alike.”
– Alberto Cairo, University of Miami
“This magical multitudinous book is an experiment that will shape the future of critical data journalism.”
– Celia Lury, University of Warwick
“By providing a wealth of living testimonies from practitioners and academics from different countries, this book gives a rich overview of practices that have become key in contemporary journalism. The main virtue of this book is to give a set of practical insights to help journalists not only to better cooperate with their peers but also to establish more fruitful relationships with researchers and publics.”
– Sylvain Parasie, Sciences Po
“This wide-ranging and thoughtfully curated volume is an essential companion for researchers and practitioners who seek to rethink what data can mean for themselves and their audiences.”
– Yanni A. Loukissas, Georgia Tech
“An intelligent and cutting-edge entry-point to the field of data journalism, sure to become an essential part of curricula and research around this topic.”
– Anja Bechmann, Aarhus University