Online courses

Data Literacy for Journalists: a free, six-week online course

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Would you like to know how to collect, clean and interpret public data and use it for your reporting? Do you want to be able to identify and understand the stories behind the huge amount of data that’s freely available online? Would your journalism benefit from using data for reporting?

Data Literacy for Journalists is a free, six-week online course for journalists and people who work in the news industry. Users will learn how to collect, clean and analyse data, identify and understand the stories behind the data, and accurately present data in news stories.

Our world is immersed in and driven by data. It has become increasingly important for journalists, reporters and editors to understand what data is and how to use it to inform audiences.

Dr Jingrong Tong, senior lecturer in digital news cultures at the University of Sheffield, and Claire Miller, data editor at Reach plc, have created this free, six-week course specifically for journalists and those who work in the news industry at all levels.

The course, available on the FutureLearn platform, will help to improve your data literacy and empower you with the fundamental skills that you need to understand, use and report data accurately and ethically. After completing the course, you will gain a foundational knowledge in data journalism. With this knowledge, you will build the confidence to apply data techniques in your news reporting.


  • Week 1: Data for journalists
  • Week 2: Collecting data
  • Week 3: FOI skills
  • Week 4: Cleaning data
  • Week 5: Understanding data
  • Week 6: Presenting data

The course requires a flexible commitment of around three hours per week over six weeks.

Data Literacy for Journalists - Online Data Journalism Course - FutureLearn

Dr Jingrong Tong has expertise in data journalism studies and social media analysis with practical skills for handling data.

Claire Miller leads the data team at Reach plc and specialises in data journalism and FOI requests. 

Data Literacy for Journalists is a University of Sheffield course created in partnership with Reach plc and funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) COVID Recovery Fund.

For further information, contact Dr Tong at

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