Media & Journalism

data-driven journalism

Introduction to Data-driven Journalism

Why this course?

This course will help you unlock the powerful world of data journalism to tell deep, insightful stories. You’ll learn to find, analyze, interpret and visualize data in compelling new ways.

This course contributes to answering some big challenges in the news space using digital tools. Some of the challenges are:

  • How can platforms and newsrooms strengthen quality reporting and fight misinformation?
  • How can local news organizations continue serving their communities with quality news content as revenue pressures increase?
  • How can newsrooms and journalists be assisted to ensure their reporting better reflects the communities they cover?
  • How can newsrooms leverage new technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their reporting?


Who is this course for?

Journalists and other media practioners who would like to improve their skills and remain relevant in a data-driven world.


What tools are used?

  • Google Public Data Explorer
  • Google Surveys
  • Google Crisis Map
  • Global Forest Watch
  • Election Databot
  • Tilegrams
  • Google Data GIF Maker
  • Flourish
  • Google Trends
  • Google Fusion Tables


What is the course structure?

The course consists of 15 lessons that take approximately 100 minutes to complete on average. The course is free and self-paced.


Become A South African Land Reform Guru

Course Information:

Course Become A South African Land Reform Guru
Programme Type Provider Programme
Partner Institute To Be Announced
Award Type MathsGee Short Course Certificate
Award Issued By MathsGee
Accredited By Not Applicable
SAQA ID Not Applicable
NQF Level Not Applicable
Course Duration Self-Paced
Entrance Criteria
  • Basic Literacy

This Course is an 8-part series discussing land reform to try and clear up some of the misperceptions pertaining to the subject. The 8-part series was put together by the South African Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies’ (PLAAS’)Prof Ruth Hall and Prof Ben Cousins in association with The Nelson Mandela Foundation.


Who Should Take This Course?

The course was originally created as a crash course for journalists to fully understand the topic of land reform in South Africa, however it has been opened up to the public to consume and use this as a basis to have meaningful discourse.



This course takes half a day as a workshop, but is self-paced for the online version.



PLAAS has, since 1995, provided independent evidence-based policy advice and engaged in public debate about land reform and related matters. Overwhelmed by demands to engage with the media, PLAAS created this course.

This course seeks to clear the muddy waters around land reform, and equip journalists with the tools to interrogate both land reform policies and the various statements politicians, activists, farmers and others make about land reform. The course clarifies issues around the ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ principle, land expropriation, budgets for land acquisition and farmer support, farm evictions, women’s land rights, traditional leaders and traditional councils, foreign land ownership and more.

The course also provides journalists with useful reference material to use when covering land reform issues, and ideas about key land reform questions that are not being answered by current land reform policy and practice.

In each area, we aim to provide background to the controversial issues; what was meant to be done (legal and policy requirements); what has actually been done (implementation and outcomes); the spectrum of options and opinions; and ideas for media stories and questions to be addressed.





1. History & Politics of Land Dispossession
2. Land Redistribution
3. Land Restitution
4. Post Settlement Support & Agrarian Reform
5. Communal Areas & Traditional Authorities
6. Farm Dwellers & Labour Tenants
7. Urban Land Reform
8. The “Property Clause” in the Constitution

Submission to the Constitutional Review Committee – PLAAS

Narratives of scarcity: Framing the global land rush

Photo Credit: GrainSA