New tools and technologies are changing the ways newsrooms tell stories. Data journalism is a new set of skills for searching, understanding, and visualizing information from the vastly expanding world of digital sources available to today's reporters. Along with traditional "shoe leather" reporting, reporters now have access to tools and newsroom specialists to quickly parse thousands of confidential documents, analyze voting trends, or connect the dots between powerful interest groups, and package their findings for readers with compelling visuals. Some newsrooms are using free, open-source tools to compile and publish wholly new data sets, like Mother Jones's Guide to Mass Shootings in America, a groundbreaking data-driven investigation cited by the New York Times and others as the first-ever comprehensive survey of this phenomenon in our country. Tasneem Raja leads a team of data visualization specialists at Mother Jones, and offers this survey of the field's award-winning investigations, commonly used tools, and how data is changing journalism.
Tasneem Raja is the Interactive Editor at Mother Jones. She specializes in data-driven journalism, interactive graphics, and newsroom training in emerging technologies. Prior to joining Mother Jones, she was an interactive producer at The Bay Citizen, a nonprofit journalism startup in San Francisco that partnered with the New York Times to produce high-impact local investigative reports for the Bay Area, and earned a master's degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Before crossing over to "the dark side," she was a features reporter covering subcultures and fringe groups at The Chicago Reader.