WK10: Basic Data Visualisation



  • Seminar – Data Visualisation Introduction & Inspiration
  • Seminar – Types of data visualization
  • Seminar & Exercise Charts basics & Create a chart in Infogram
  • Key Data Visualisation Tools (free & paid – via Padlet)
  • Seminar – Sourcing Data
  • Seminar – Visual Design Basics
  • Seminar – Workflow for DV
  • Exercise – Group Exercise DV
  • Brief Multimedia Week Intensive & Assignment
  • Seminar & Exercises – Introduction to Journalistic Ethics


  • M: AM – Data Viz Intro
  • M: PM 1 – Types of Data Visualizations; Charts & Individual Exercise
  • M: PM 2 – Sourcing Data, Workflow for DV & Pair Exercise
  • T: AM  – Visual Design Basics & Revise your Exercise 
  • T: PM 1  – Introduction to Journalistic Ethics
  • T: PM 2 – Brief Multimedia Week Intensive & Assignment / Critique websites / Profile


  • Sign up for a free infogram account
  • You do not need to do any pre-reading for this week’s Practical Module, as the profile video week is quite a challenging week, leaving you little time for pre-reading. You will, however, need to review the class notes and explore the tools demonstrated in class and in the notes after class.


Create a single or series of journalistic data visualization(s) that effectively communicate a clear message to your audience using key data and/or information about one of the set topics below:

  3. Got another idea you really want to do? We are pretty open on the topic this week, so just let us know!

By Data Visualizations we mean: Any kind of graphs chart, map, timeline or infographic, it could be static or animated such as a gif or even an animated explainer video.

You have 3 options for the format

  1. Create a single or series of data visualization(s). Notice with a series sometimes BBCNewsGraphics posts a picture gallery other times a thread with more text for more context.
  2. Create an animated data visualization via a gif or video
  3. Create a complete article including data visualization(s), text and even photos if you want. If you do this please do keep the focus on the data visualization(s), but of course, you may use text to structure the narrative and add context to the numbers.


  1. Include a title, and maybe subtitle
  2. Visualize data to convey a clear point, message or story
  3. Attribute all source(s) Plus at the bottom of your webpage, write a short sentence or so telling me how you evaluated your source(s) and why it’s credible. (Who collected the data? What is the sources purpose/intent? How was the data collected?)
  4. Embed your work on a dedicated page on your digital platform. (I understand that you may not be able to embed to your wordpress site. In this case embed a screenshot and link to the original if needed (i.e it’s interactive).
  5. Please also publish to your twitter feed and note the link at the bottom of your webpage.
  6. During the research/pre-production stage write out a one-paragraph focus. E.g, “I’m going to explore the major travel routes of refugees from Syria in the past five years and see how they have changed”.
  7. Once you move onto production and actually creating your DV write out a one-paragraph nut-graph. E.g, “The routes of refugees traveling from Syria in the last 5 years has changed dramatically. It’s both interesting and important for an audience to know because while the number of refugees has dropped the travel routes have become increasingly dangerous”. You do not need to write these down for me, but I will ask you in class.
  • Your target publication is the @BBCNewsGraphics twitter feed 
  • Make sure you do plenty of reading and research to familiarise yourself with your publication. I have picked out some examples on the padlet page. 


Most often data visualizations illustrate or supplement a text or multimedia story, but sometimes they are the main component of a story. For your assignment this week — your data visualization should be the main and driving element.

Very often, graphics need some context, so don’t hesitate to include a paragraph or two of text or a voiceover to animation if you think suitable, however, there is no requirement for text. It’s your choice. 

This week there are no time or length limits because data visualizations are so varied – it could take hours to create something that looks quite simple, or you could knock up something quite complex in a short time, depending on the data, research, and tools involved. Therefore this week we simply ask that you spend 1 x 8-10 hour days working on your assignment and do the very best you can in the given time. 

You must plan your time well to include research time for reading and researching the topic, locating reliable data sources and verifying data. It’s not simply about production. 

There are a number of tools and methods you can use. We are looking for quality rather than quality – well-sourced data and a relevant, effective and visualization. Pick your topic and explore some data and tools demonstrated in class – and within these reading notes – to select the best data, tools, and methods. You will need to source credible data and convert it to an appropriate chart or graphic, please consider good design principles and color to make your visualizations clear and engaging. You may if needed add a sentence or paragraph of context. 


  • You will spend around 12 hours in class
  • You should spend 8 hours post-reading and dig into the class notes and Padlet; explore a few tools; Spend around 1-2 hours just looking at the BBC twitter feed; Read this – https://venngage.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-best-charts-for-your-infographic/
  • You should spend around 8-10 hours on your assignment
  • You should spend around 8-10 hours preparing for next weeks MM intensive
  • You have no theory class next week so no readings, however, you would be smart to spend an hour taking a look at your upcoming theory paper for module IMJ7002 A 1200-word critical review and analysis of a digital multimedia journalism feature. See the assignment brief here


  • If you haven’t read news literacy 6 – please do it in full. 
  • If you still haven’t started a regular news consumption habit you are way behind. Pick one single media from any of the categories on the NEWS CONSUMPTION PADLET and spend an hour each and every day with the same media outlet. I will ask each one of you next week what is your favorite go-to media outlet. Or for those who just started which outlet you picked this week and what you think about it. 
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