Correlation or causality? That’s the question

Photo: Nikolaj Christensen

Photo: Nikolaj Christensen

You need to think very carefully about what numbers and statistics tell you about the world. That was one of the take-aways from the December 2016 EMCC workshop at DMJX in Aarhus on data journalism and social media.

15 students and 10 lecturers worked for a week to explore what elements it would make sense to combine in a course on data-journalism and social media in order to be able to inspire and guide lecturers, when they develop courses and modules on these subjects.

The students had several introductory talks on working professionally with social media –  both as a research tool and a way to build relations and trust with users – and on data-journalism – how to gather, crunch and present stories bases on statistics and data.

Wednesday the students started working on journalistic assignments, and they did a great job collecting and evaluating data – and mapping key influencers and sources on social media. They quickly learned that it was important to talk to the people who originally collected and organized the data to make sure definitions and procedures would allow then to make comparisons over time. And we talked a lot about correlation and causality.

The students worked on these topics: Sexual Transmitted Diseases(STD’s) in Europe, Air pollution and Depression and anxiety amongst young people, 15-30 years, focusing on Norway.

All three groups came up with very interesting research, and their work during the week gave important input on how to structure workshops on data-journalism and social media.

Read the summary report from the workshop here:

This entry was posted in Defining skill levels, Oslo 1-5 June 2015, Results. Bookmark the permalink.