Thursday, May 17, 2018 • Saint Louis, MO

ONA STL: Fundamentals of Data Journalism Workshop

 An ONA Local event, hosted by ONA STL

Bring your laptop for this hands-on workshop, where we’ll dig into all things data-driven: how local journalists source good data, the process of creating data visualizations, identifying deceptive charts and graphs, and more. You don’t need to be a developer or even very technical to learn how to source and make better use of data in your newsroom.

What You Can Expect
Per usual, we’ll have free pizza, local St. Louis beer, soda, and other non-alcoholic beverages. We’ll be ordering again this month from Pizza Head. The event will be held on the upper level of TechArtista, a coworking space located at 4818 Washington Boulevard in the Central West End.

Free street parking is available along both Olive Street and Washington Boulevard, and parking is also available for our members across the street in the church parking lots. Once you arrive, make your way up the center staircase to the common area, where you will be greeted by the group’s co-organizers.

Please note: This event starts promptly at 6 p.m., so please arrive on time. If the door is locked when you arrive and no one is downstairs, please call Margaret Schneider at 314-714-5463. Someone will come to let you in.

5:15 to 6 p.m.
We typically give people about a half hour to arrive at the venue. Take your time to sign in, grab some food and drink, and mingle.

6 to 6:15 p.m.
At the start of every event, we gather together for a quick icebreaker and update the group on any upcoming events, initiatives in the works, etc.

6:15 to 6:30 p.m.
Lightning Talks
We’ll gather for quick takes from Tracy Cook, data research associate at The Good Search, and Erin Richey, investigative researcher for KSDK-TV’s Five on Your Side I-Team.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Fundamentals of Data Journalism
Lisa Williams, a technologist who has worked for The Boston Globe and WBUR-FM, Boston’s NPR affiliate, as well as served as an MIT Media Lab fellow, developed the Fundamentals of Data Visualization course for General Assembly and is a full-stack web developer with an interest in news. This in-depth workshop for beginners will cover data journalism from two angles.

Part 1: Data Visualization Fundamentals
How do you know which visualization goes with your data? Williams will take a brief tour of the history of charts and graphs and teach you a few basic rules that will help you choose the right way to display your data.

Hands-On Exercise: Williams will show you how to create an interactive map. You’ll learn first how to scrape an example data set from the web and clean it up for best results, then how to turn that into a searchable, sortable map using Tableau.

Part 2: Deceptive Charts and Graphs
A surprising number of charts and graphs out there are meant to mislead the viewer. We’ll dive into the world of charts that have gone to the dark side—and ones that just seem confused or don’t work—and learn practical ways to use this information.

For those who have never attended an Online News Association event before, we are part of the world’s largest association of digital journalists. Our mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public.

You do not have to be a member to attend one of our meetups. We do ask that you RSVP well in advance, however, to help us better gauge how much food we will need to order.

Contact Us
If you are looking to help us organize one of our monthly events, take on a leadership role with ONA St. Louis, sponsor the group, or ask any questions about the event, please feel free to email us at

This in-depth workshop for beginners will cover data journalism from two angles.


Thursday, May 17, 2018
5:15 pm-8:30 pm