Data Journalism Makes My Brain Hurt

…that being said, I think it’s a really important skill to master. If for no other reason, it’ll make me some cash money, because I know that my colleagues find it similarly distasteful. Lets just say none of us are studying journalism because we LIKE math. The part I actually like about it is turning numbers into visuals. I have always been a visual learner, and to me there’s something really satisfying about arranging numbers in coherent, visually pleasing ways. Graphs and charts and maps are great (I always loved coloring in those world maps when I was a kid), but my true love is infographics. I have used Canva a couple times, and I really like it for its flexibility and because you can upload your own photos, graphics or illustrations. It’s relatively simple to use, tough a bit fiddly, and produces pretty high quality infographics.

My most recent assignment for uni had me finding a story by looking at data sets. I chose my story from data I found that suggested there was potential for a $100 million market for medical marijuana in Australia. As per my usual state of procrastination (with thanks in part to the additional 25.5 hours I work at the bar on the weekend), I started writing 4 days before my deadline and submitted a mere 40 minutes before I had to leave for work. From what I understand from my colleagues, most of us left it to the last minute. C’est la vie, I suppose, when you have a million and a half things on and feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

To read the article I wrote for the assignment, which was published on The City Journal, click here.


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