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SXSW Interactive 2014

Why Nonprofits (Should) <3 Data Journalism

In the nonprofit world, resources can be scarce. But there’s never a shortage of data. Nonprofits track finances, services, outcomes and external data about their issue areas. Within all that data are stories waiting to be told.
The world’s best news organizations tell data stories digitally with rich visuals and interactives that make complex data accessible to broad audiences. Nonprofits can apply the same principles and technologies to data they already track.
This panel will explore how nonprofits and news organizations can and should work together to communicate nonprofit data to the public. We’ll also discuss how nonprofits can create their own data stories in house or working with a vendor.
As government agencies increasingly turn public services over to private charities, those charities will control more and more newsworthy data. Collaboration is in the best interest of nonprofits, news organizations and, most importantly, the communities we both serve.

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  1. Sure, data visualizations are cool, but how does data storytelling actually benefit nonprofits? Why should we want to communicate our data publicly? And why in the world would we want to hand over our raw data to a journalist?
  2. When considering a data driven story, how do nonprofits decide whether to develop in house, consult a third party vendor or pitch the story to a news organization?
  3. How should nonprofit communicators pitch data stories to journalists? What do we need to provide, and how much should we refine data?
  4. What skills do data journalists have that we should cultivate to do this kind of storytelling?
  5. What ethical and social responsibilities do journalists and nonprofits have when communicating data, especially data about underserved or disenfranchised people? How can they both ensure data stories accurately and appropriately represent people, places and events?



Megan Kilgore, Digital Marketing Manager, Capital Area Food Bank of Texas

Meta Information:

  • Tags: data, storytelling
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Non-Profit and Activism
  • Level: Intermediate
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