Matt Waite

Professor of Practice, College of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Nebraska-Lincoln matt.waite@unl.edu

I have capital O opinions about how journalism students should learn to analyze data. It involves code and replicable methods. It involves students with no experience writing code every class meeting. Because of that, it requires moving in small increments. And it requires data and questions relevant to their lives. So I've created free online textbooks for them.

I believe textbook prices are out of control. I'll never charge my students for access to this material. If you use them and feel like you want to pay me for it, donate that money to support students in my college. It'll do more good that way and it's a tax write-off.


Full courses

Data Journalism with R and the Tidyverse

JOUR 307

Text covers basic analysis, data cleaning, scraping, geographic analysis and a few more advanced topics. Students are required to write two data stories in the 16 week semester. Github repo for the book.

Launched January 2020

Sports Data Analysis and Visualization

SPMC 350

Text covers analysis basics, multiple visualization geometries with ggplot2 and some basic scraping. Students are required to create two visual story projects -- a story, three graphics and an in-class presentation of their findings -- during the 16 week semester. Github repo for the book.

Launched August 2019

Getting Started with Drone Journalism

JOMC 491 Pop Up

Textbook for my How To Get Your Drone License class. Originally written for the Drone Boot Camp at UNL in 2016, updated for the Poynter Drone School's held across the US in 2017.

Launched March 2018

Modules for courses

Math and Spreadsheets for Beginning Reporters

Module for a Reporting 1 class

I wanted to introduce data journalism to a Reporting 1 class, so I wrote this walkthrough of some basic math concepts, how to apply them in a spreadsheet, and how to turn that into a story.

Launched January 2015