online data journalism course for the Balkan region

Course Objectives

By the end of the cycle of this course, each participant should be able to:
  1. Improve digital storytelling by:
    Learning how data can supplement traditional stories
    Discovering data-driven stories by "interviewing the information"
    Dealing with open data
  2. Contribute towards transparency of data by:
    Learning key data formats for the philosophy of openness
    Adopting ways to include searchable online databases into a story
  3. Look behind the curtains of successful data storytelling by:
    Analysis of good examples
    Choosing the paths to target traditional editors with these ideas
  4. Sell your story telling to ordinary people by:
    Learning the most efficient ways to visualize information
    Adopting the use of digital news judgment (which is different from traditional)
  5. Have a better understanding of the statistical principles at play with:
    Basics of central tendency and dispersion
    Sampling and confidence intervals
    Handling "long tails" and outliers
    Running histograms to verify that means make sense
  6. Master data visualization for the Balkan region
    Playing with existing data, making and sharing your own visualizations
    Writing data driven stories from the Balkan region

Content and structure

Start date: April 4th, 2016
The course is composed of three modules:
  • Module 1. Introduction
    Various free tools for data visualization; Benefits of data driven stories; Developing new skills without much effort
  • Module 2. Cooking the stories
    Data journalism behind the curtains: Successful data driven stories and people behind them; How to start data journalism with one person involved- yourself
  • Module 3. Interaction
    Updated functionalities of the regional data journalism toolkit; Patchwork Balkan or How I can master data visualization for the Balkan region without any programming involved


The course will be conducted in English over a period of three weeks via the e-learning platform developed by the Jefferson Institute. This pedagogical tool will help journalists meet the course’s learning objectives through a self-paced study routine with optional and required readings, exercises, discussion forums and assessment quizzes. The course will be facilitated by several mentors and guest lecturers, with a wealth of practical experiences to ensure that real-world examples that facilitate learning are integrated into the coursework. Weekly Skype calls and follow up discussions on specific issues will be available in English and Serbian language.

We have prepared $ prizes for the most successful data driven stories from the Balkan region. Please join us on April 4th, 2016!