Data Journalism and Mobile-Ready Visualizations with A Digital Tools Tutorial

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
February 12, 2015 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Data Journalism and Mobile-Ready Visualizations with A Digital Tools Tutorial
This $29.95 Webinar is free thanks to the support of the American Press Institute and Knight Foundation.
Originally Broadcast On:
February 12, 2015
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

Data journalism is now a mandatory skill for reporters. Silk allows you to quickly generate data insights, data visualizations and data stories, turning a beat reporter into a data journalist. is an all-purpose data journalism tool that any journalist can use to convert spreadsheets into data stories complete with maps, charts, tables, and image galleries that are immediately publishable.

Check out some examples of published Silk data visualizations:
* The National Journal: Why Are So Many People Sentenced to Death in Houston? (map)
* Beta Boston (Boston Globe): Mark Zuckerberg's $25 million Ebola Donation (pie chart)
* Mashable: Ebola Patient Zero (line chart)
* GigaOm: How Much Do Coders Make? (column chart)

Some examples of what a live Silk database looks like include:

Every visualization created in Silk generates a responsive embed code that makes the visualizations mobile-friendly. Unlike other tools, also, Silk actually converts the data into a true online database that can be modified as your data changes or the story grows, automatically updating all of the published visualizations wherever they live on the Internet.

In Silk, your readers can not only see and interact with your visualization online with inline filters and interactive screens but they can also use data to build their own visualizations for republication in blogs, regional papers or other outlets. For large publications presenting national stories, Silk allows for rapid creation of locally relevant visualizations by local publications.

Silk is geared towards publications that want their reporters and editors to have the ability to analyze data and generate and publish their own visualizations, maps and tables quickly. (Geek Speak: For publications with dedicated visualization teams, Silk can serve as a repository for data which can be accessed via API and rendered into custom visualizations.)

What Will I Learn:
  • Basic data cleanup skills
  • How to structure a spreadsheet for importing into
  • How to create interactive maps with number plots and images from plain English
  • How to use Silk to analyze data and look for story ideas
  • How to publish beautiful Silk visualizations in websites and blogs as simple embeds
Who Should Take this Course:

Anyone who is or wants to be a data journalist. Any journalist or editor interested in learning how to build data visualizations. Editors and journalists interested in audience engagement tools.

Course Instructor:

Alex Salkever

Alex Salkever is the Head of Marketing at He served as the Technology Editor at for four years and has published articles in dozens of national publications including: BusinessWeek Magazine, Wired Magazine, the Washington Post,, Outside Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, GigaOm, VentureBeat, ReadWrite and Travel & Leisure, among others. His first job out of college was at the Carpinteria Herald, a small town paper in Southern California, where he covered everything that moved.


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism excellence in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change.

Training Partner:

American Press Institute

The American Press Institute advances an innovative and sustainable news industry by helping publishers understand and engage audiences, grow revenue, improve public-service journalism, and succeed at organizational change.

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