Course date

14 June - 18 June, 2021
Extended application deadline
22 March, 2021
Course Director(s): 

Eva Bognar

Center for Media, Data and Society, Democracy Institute, CEU, Budapest, Hungary

Miklos Koren

Department of Economics and Business, CEU, Vienna, Austria/Budapest, Hungary
Course Faculty: 

Eric Barrett

Data Desk, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Tbilisi, Georgia

Alberto Cairo

School of Communication, University of Miami, USA

Theresa Gessler

Chair of Public Policy and the Digital Democracy Lab, University of Zurich, Switzerland

András Pethő

Direkt36 Investigative Reporting Center, Budapest, Hungary
Free media is essential to hold the less-than transparent governments of Central and Eastern Europe to account. Key political and business actors are increasingly obfuscating their actions and limiting data access to escape public scrutiny. Effective investigative journalism requires a set of skills for obtaining and working with large datasets, and interpreting the patterns emerging from such data. 
This course will bring together junior journalists and researchers from the CEE regions with global experts of data journalism with the aim of teaching the necessary tools and methods, as well as to build professional networks. 
This one-week course will cover four topics: 
  1. finding and obtaining data: open data, large-scale data platforms, freedom-of-information requests, web scraping 
  2. working with data in various formats, cleaning messy and purposefully obfuscated data with OpenRefine 
  3. building stories from data, ethics of working with large datasets  
  4. principles of effective and truthful visualization
Classes will be hands-on, where learners use their own computer to access the tools and technologies taught and discuss problems in small groups. A key component of several modules is “live demo,” where instructors and learners work on their problems together. This practice enables effective learning with frequent interaction and feedback from instructors and peers.