I was a little surprised recently to find that the Journalism and Media Studies Center at the University of Hong Kong is offering Data Journalism Scholarships, funded by none other than Google.
I’m a big fan of news orgs that do data journalism well, in particular the folks over at The Guardian, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and ProPublica. These are just a few organizations that – in addition to telling stories in the traditional way – realize that news is information, and that sometimes we need programmers and data wizards to help us find the clearest way to convey that information to the public.
So while I expect many of our readers might be looking to create the latest new photo app or perhaps the next big mobile game, I encourage programmers out there to consider bringing their skills to your local newsroom, or even create your own news startup. And if you’d like to help develop your skills further, consider applying for the JMSC’s data journalism scholarship.
Google is going to fund two full-tuition scholarships for Master of Journalism candidates at the school for the 2012–2013 academic year. Their program officer Jason Hui tells me that they’re looking for candidates with a computer science degree and programming skills, plus competency in database management and computational problem solving.
To my knowledge  data journalism is something that really hasn’t had much of an impact in Asia yet. Most news organizations that I’m familiar with in the region are still mostly just printed news copied and pasted to the web – not really taking advantage of the new ways that we can tell stories online.
So if you’re interested, the deadline to apply is May 31, 2012. You can read more information about it on the JMSC website.
Of course, even if you can’t be one of the lucky recipients of such a scholarship, you can still learn much about data journalism online. I encourage you to check our this Twitter list of programmer-journalists which I’ve put together over the years. All those people are super smart, and are definitely worth following. There’s also Hacks/Hackers, which is an awesome group that explores the intersection of journalism and technology. It currently has aspirations of expanding globally, if anyone in Asia would like to get involved.
[h/t to @sxren for the tip]
I could be wrong on this. Are there some news organizations already doing great data journalism work in Asia? If so, let me know in the comments. ↩