• Course Code:  JN17.1

  • Term:  Self Paced

  • Open for Enrollment

  • Self-paced

  • Course Author(s)
    Ethical Journalism Network
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The Ethical Data Journalist

Self Paced

  • Circles
    Thomson Foundation


Please contact journalismnow@thomsonfoundation.org if you are having difficulties enrolling into this course


With this course, you will learn how the key ethical principles that guide journalism are as relevant as ever when working with data.  What this course will teach you is how to overcome some of the new challenges that arise when producing a piece of work derived and based on data. It will provide you with the tools to begin to critically reflect on your work, in particular when thinking about data sources, collection, analysis and the visualization of the data. It will also encourage you to put your audience at the heart of your work.  


In this course you will learn to take into account ethical considerations at each of the different stages of data journalism. The course will look at the following:

  • Acquisition and sources
  • Cleaning, managing and analysing data
  • Presenting and visualising data
  • Publication and audiences
  • Working collaboratively


Aidan White, your course instructor, is the former Director of the Ethical Journalism Network, a global coalition of major media professional groups which promotes ethics, good governance and self-regulation of journalism across all platforms of media.



An experienced team of experts is joining Aidan, including:

  • Caelainn Barr is the editor on the Data Projects team at the Guardian in London and has a wide range of expertise of working on data-led investigations globally
  • Monia Ben Hamadi is the editor-in-chief of Inkyfada, a Tunisia-based media platform that specialises in investigative and data journalism, as well as being a partner on the Panama Papers expose.
  • Jakub Gorniki is the founder of We are Outriders, an investigative network of journalists, and a passionate advocator for open data and open source software.
  • Leonard Wallentin is a data journalist and CEO at J++ Stockholm, an agency that focuses on data-driven research and story-telling, and has been working on data-driven stories for over ten years.



  • The About the Course section gives you an overview of the principles of ethical journalism and introduces the course trainer and media experts.
  • Section 1 underlines some of the key challenges and considerations around accuracy and independence when initially acquiring your data and sources.
  • Section 2 examines the process of data cleaning and managing large sets of data when it comes to issues related to impartiality and humanity in particular.
  • Section 3 recommends that transparency is key in the choice of visuals and graphs that will accompany and tell your story.
  • Section 4 advocates for you to consider your audience when it comes to final publication of your data. 
  • Section 5 highlights the importance of transparency and independence when it comes to collaboration in data-led journalism
  • Section 6 draws the course to a conclusion.

There are several practical exercises throughout the course, which you can complete within 2 hours.

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The Ethical Data Journalist


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