Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course will require students to interpret data through the creation of tables, charts, animations and infographics for journalism. Students will build on skills learnt in other Communication courses to visualise data in a journalistic context and learn how to represent complex ideas, issues and data using various forms of visualisation. The legal and ethical implications of working with big data will be an integral part of the course as will an understanding of the social implications of data journalism and visualisation.

Availability2021 Course Timetables

Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Reproduce data and visualisation in a range of journalistic styles;

2. Access, analyse and curate data from publicly available sources;

3. Create visualisations of primary data using research and technical tools;

4. Explain the social, legal and ethical implications of data journalism


Topics will include:

  • What is data in journalism
  • Data Credibility
  • Best practice data journalism
  • The history, current practice and impact of data journalism
  • Visualising data and the tools to communicate effectively
  • How to integrate data into stories
  • Legal and ethical implications of using big data
  • Emerging technologies and tools in data visualisation
  • Creating illustrations, animations and infographics


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Communication and the Bachelor of Creative Industries, and associated combined degree programs (11496, 11503, 40041, 40125).

Assumed knowledge

It is assumed that students have technical proficiency in video and audio recording and editing, provided in CMNS1230 and CMNS1240. Students are expected to have a foundation in professional writing and journalism equivalent to CMNS1090 and CMNS2280.

Assessment items

Report: Case Analysis Report - 25%

Proposal / Plan: Data plan, story and visualisations plan - 25%

Project: Data-driven news project - 50%

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct and PSB Singapore


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks starting in week 1

Weeks 1-7


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 2

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.