Welcome to Data Journalism in R

Data Journalism in R, How to
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Welcome to Data Journalism in R

print("Hello world")
## [1] "Hello world"

Now that we got that out of the way, welcome to a brand new Storybench vertical, Data Journalism in R! This space will be home to tutorials, links to interesting projects that use R, and all varieties of other data journalism and R-related miscellany.

As I’ll be your tour guide, I figure I should tell you a bit about myself. I’m a PhD Candidate in the English department here at Northeastern as well as a freelance journalist. I began learning R several years ago in the context of a Humanities Data Analysis course that I took with History professor Ben Schmidt. Since then, I’ve put my R wizardry skills to work on the Viral Texts Project, as well as on a number of other projects. You can check out some links on my website if you’re interested. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Of course, there are a number of tools and programming languages available for journalists who want to work with data, so it might be worth saying something about why we’re featuring R here. Let’s start with the question of pre-made tools versus learning to do some programming. While web-based tools have become increasinlgy sophisticated in recent years (you can check out a list that the NULab compiled here), I’ve found that with even a little bit of coding skills, you can go a lot further. This is the know-enough-to-be-dangerous model. And actually, I’ve found in the years I’ve been learning R, that is actually pretty fun–in a sometimes frustrating stay up way past midnight trying to solve this one litte problem kind of way.

Anyway, that’s probably enough by way of introduction. Storybench has already published several posts related to working with R, and you can see some of those here. My first, non-introduction post is also live now and focuses on connecting RStudio to Twitter and scraping down some data. Check it out!

Photo credit: Flickr user Dwayne Bent

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

Fitz is a PhD candidate in the English department at Northeastern University as well as a freelance journalist.

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