Data Journalism workshop at Press Club of India

Focus on data collection, cleaning, analysis and visualization tools

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Data journalism
Anoushka Dalmia, data journalism fellow at DataLeads at the workshop

Collection, cleaning, analysis, and visualization of data were the high points of a data journalism workshop organized by the Press Club of India on Saturday, 10 December 2022, at its premises on Raisana Road.

Anoushka Dalmia, data journalism fellow at DataLeads, was the trainer for the three-hour session organized in association with the Google News Initiative.

During data collection, the sources need to be verified with respect to authenticity (what), accuracy (who), place (where), time (when), and the last updated status, Dalmia explained, adding the key sources of data must be inspected, regulated, purchased or registered.

Some of the tools demonstrated at the session were the Google dataset search and the Wayback Machine web archives. The Wayback Machine helps search collections of digital content; recover web pages, details & data; and collect history through website archives. It explores more than 651 billion web pages.

Data cleaning involves preparing data for interpreting, understanding, and perhaps visualization. The Scraping and Tabula techniques were demonstrated to extract data from human-readable output and transfer it to PDF and Google Sheets.

Data verification is used to analyze large collections of documents. The Google Pinpoint or Journalist Studio is a collection of tools to empower reporters and data journalists to do their articles and stories in a more efficient, creative, and secure manner. It helps explore and analyze large collections of documents.

The final step is data visualization, which adds value to stories and grabs the readers’ attention. Flourish, Data Wrapper, Tableau and Infogram were some other tools discussed at the workshop for creating quality data graphics to bring stories to life through visualization and storytelling.

The workshop ended with the DataLeads team announcing a series of data journalism workshops across several Indian towns and cities.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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