The journalist Kiko Llaneras, data analyst for the newspaper El País, has given a master class to the students of the Degree in Communication at the Camilo José Cela University, in which he has explained what data journalism is and how it has been used during the pandemic caused by COVID-19.
Llaneras has covered the news of the pandemic since March, and has explained to the students how his work has been until today. He began by recounting how he created, on March 2, 2020, the first story about this pandemic based on data, and that until March 8 of the same year they did not launch the first data panel. El País was one of the first media of the world to publish it, publicizing the situation in Spain, one of the most affected countries in the world at that time.
The journalist continued explaining which are the most used graphics to cover the pandemic and the reason for using each of them. The fundamental graph to follow the contagions and deaths of COVID-19 is that of lines, since, in the journalist’s own words, “it allows us to show the evolution of the virus”. In addition, he has also highlighted that the tables have been an important element because they allow a lot of information to be analyzed in a reduced space, such as the rate of COVID-19 infections in each autonomous community.
Finally, Llaneras wanted to share with the students the lessons learned during his coverage of the pandemic, offering them some advice. Among them, the need to carry out analytical journalism and that the data they use to report should be as useful as possible.