Note on Specialist Faculty in Data and Computation

An integrated data journalism curriculum presents a unique challenge. In the state of the field as it has developed and exists today, data journalism is usually a lone course, or element of a course, taught by one specialist instructor. Often, the instructor is a professional journalist working as an adjunct more for the love of spreading the word than for the money. To achieve a fully integrated curriculum, the overall faculty at journalism programs would need to commit to change, and administrations would need to foster training for faculty. The change needs to be broad. There should not be a single faculty member juggling all the classes in data and computational skills, nor should guest lectures from that faculty member suffice in broadening the class to account for data. Journalism schools must commit to the idea that they cannot train information professionals to work in an increasingly complicated world of information without developing these crucial literacies. It must be integrated across the board.

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