Breaking News: #DataViz Headline Challenge Resources Round-up

Strong statistical literacy skills are essential in most career fields, from political campaigns to sports analytics to data journalism. Learning how to communicate insights from data effectively can get you further in your studies and career. 

Throughout the month of March, students competing in the Breaking News: #DataViz Headline Challenge will work to sum up data from the New York Times Learning Network’s “What’s Going On In This Graph?” into a creative and concise headline. This semester’s contest will put students’ data analysis and statistical communication skills to the test. 

For inspiration, this resource roundup offers examples of data-driven journalism in action, so you can create an attention grabbing headline.

How to Write Thought-Provoking Headlines

New to writing headlines? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out these tips from the This is Statistics team and The New York Times:  

Examples of Compelling and Data-Driven Headlines 

Weddings Are Picking Up After a Pandemic Slump 

The first step of writing a data-driven headline is understanding the content. This article explores the expected ‘wedding boom’ following the cancellation of weddings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The journalist dug into data from The Wedding Report that showed a decrease in weddings when the pandemic hit in 2020 and the predicted post-pandemic boom of weddings in 2025. The headline captures an issue readers can relate to and calls on data to back it up. 

Beijing Olympics: Who Leads the Medal Count?

Do you believe exercise will help you live longer? This headline captures readers’ attention with a ‘secret’ to living longer, but what’s a headline without the data to back it up? The article takes a deep dive into how short periods of exercise can improve people’s quality of life.  

Rising Gas Prices Have Drivers Asking, ‘Is This for Real?’ 

A creative headline captures readers’ attention and informs them of what the article is about. This headline takes a look at real-world issues, national data comparing prices over time, and taps into the readers’ perspective on the issue.  

The Pandemic Changed How We Spent Our Time 

When writing a data-driven headline, it’s important to understand how the information in the graph relates to readers in relation to what’s going on in the world. With COVID-19 still prevalent in the news, journalists not only must understand the research and the data they reference but how it tells an important story. This all takes place before they can begin creating their headline.  

Who Has the Most Historic Responsibility for Climate Change?

Writing headlines about worldwide news can be tricky. One way to ensure you’re writing an accurate headline is to do the proper research and educate yourself on the subject first. Headlines can still be catchy and compelling, even when you’re covering timely news!

Learn more about the Breaking News: #DataViz Headline Challenge and how to submit your entry  here  

Sign up for weekly alerts for each new challenge here

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