March 5, 2018
USCET is pleased to announce the launch of its Data Journalism Alumni Program. This program gives past participants in USCET’s data journalism workshops and incubators an opportunity to network with one another, share skills and resources, and organize offline meet-ups. The Data Journalist of the Month will be a regular feature of the program, which will highlight a single data journalist in the alumni group. Dong Mei, a data visualization designer at China News Service in Beijing, is the first Data Journalist of the Month this March.
“One of my biggest challenges is being unfamiliar with certain types of software,” Dong told USCET. “Another challenge is lack of knowledge. As a journalist, it’s important to know your content to tell an effective, understandable story. I’m from an art school background, so I’m unfamiliar with topics in say statistics.”
Dong believes exchanging methodology with colleagues can be an effective way to meet those challenges. “Because we are all working on different topics each day, the obstacles we come across are different, and so are the methods we used to solve it. Through exchanging our discoveries, we can learn many times faster than trying to do it alone.”
Dong participated in USCET’s data journalism workshop at Fudan University in Shanghai last November, which she says provided her a unique opportunity to meet other people in her field. “The workshop was very rare. It provided a platform for data journalists from all kinds of industries to gather, communicate and exchange information. Data Journalism is still a niche industry; we need people with interdisciplinary skills who never stop learning.”