Data Visualisation

Charting Tools for the Newsroom

by Maarten Lambrechts

In this course we introduce and learn to use some tools every journalist can adopt to produce graphics that can support or carry a story.



Charts and maps have become ubiquitous in todays newsrooms. They convey stories with numbers much better than text alone does and they are shared easily. But not every journalist is a numbercruncher or a graphics designer. And a lot of newsrooms, especially smaller ones, don’t have the means to employ graphic journalists that can craft charts and maps. In this course we introduce and learn to use some tools every journalist can adopt to produce graphics that can support or carry a story.

The tools were selected on 4 criteria, important to newsrooms: they are fast, easy to use, low cost and they apply the rules of good data visualisation. With some limited investment (a fee or some developers time) they can also be branded to fit the style of the medium.

The tools are Quartz Chartbuilder, Datawrapper and Rawgraphs. In this course, the following will be discussed:

  • how to prepare the data for both tools
  • how to configure charts to your needs
  • how to get charts in your website
  • the pros, cons and limitations of both chart tools

No prior knowledge is needed. We will go through the whole process, from raw data to publishable chart, so you’ll learn how to use both tools and you’ll be able to enrich your stories with fast and good graphics.

Course overview

Module 1: Chartbuilder by Maarten Lambrechts

  1. How to use Chartbuilder (31:51)
  2. Creating different types of charts (29:45)

Module 2: Datawrapper by Maarten Lambrechts

  1. Datawrapper (50:23)

Module 3: RAWGraphs by Maarten Lambrechts

  1. RAWGraphs (36:16)
  2. Meet your instructor: Maarten Lambrechts

    Course instructor

    Maarten Lambrechts

    Freelance, Data journalist and visualization consultant (BE)

    READ FULL BIO

Our other courses

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    In this course we introduce and learn to use some tools every journalist can adopt to produce graphics that can support or carry a story.

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