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David Herzog Interview
Faculty Spotlight,

David Herzog: Associate Professor School of Journalism, University of Missouri.

The DSA program is proud to have David Herzog on board to support the Data Journalism area of concentration. David has been teaching at the University of Missouri since January 2002.  Before coming to Mizzou, he accumulated 15 years of experience as a newspaper investigative reporter and editor for the Providence JournalBaltimore Sun and the Allen Town Morning Call.  David studied at Temple University focusing on radio, television, and film.

David’s rolls at Mizzou include teaching data Journalism and being an academic advisor to the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting at Investigative Reports and Editors (IRE) . David’s connection to the Reynolds Journalism Institute allowed him to combine his long-term goals of building the field and integrity of data journalism and his passion for teaching practical journalism education.

David’s work allows him to bridge the worlds of academia and professional global journalism. David teaches students how to use computers to analyze databases, which results in information that drives their reporting outcomes.  Computer assisted reporting skills developed by the students allow them to sift outcomes from the ever-increasing data available.  David’s students receive the training needed to begin to assess data as well as a real-world view of what reporters in the field need now.

His work with the IRE gives him the global reach to assess the professionals in the field and their need for data driven Journalism.  Many of these professionals have access to essential data sets but need help extracting information from them.  David’s experience has led him to perceive data as the raw material of knowledge.   Teaching data journalism through IRE professional boot camps helps develop skill sets to be used immediately.   David brings Mizzou students into the boot camps; this helps them learn from the professionals and meet mentors for their future careers. With IRE’s assistance, professionals in all fields learn how to analyze information and present it.

In the DSA program, David Hertzog serves as a mentor for DSA masters candidates. He helps students focus on the need to analyze data and tell a story.  He is involved in class development.  He focuses on how to use more sophisticated data science tools to analyze data to predict journalistic outcomes. David looks forward to future opportunities to build and launch courses that meet the need of the industry.

David sees the Industry Advisory Board for the DSA program as one of its main strengths.  This board helps educators and students keep up to date on what skills are needed by new professional data scientists.  The ever-growing potential of data helps advisory board executives spotlight the shortage of trained data scientists.

The students are another main strength of the DSA program from David’s perspective.  The goals of each student vary as widely as their backgrounds and experience.   They are professionals that all see the value of data driven analysis and will each use these new skills to complement their areas of expertise. Students learn the potential for data science in all fields from each other’s diverse professional backgrounds.  The DSA program teaches them the fundamentals in their first year and then specializes in the third semester and summer case studies.   What each student does with this training will vary widely, however the network they create among each other and the advisory board will support them in their careers.

David predicts that the future of data science will require professionals to work with bigger data sets.  They will need to know how to scale the hardware environment and software to work with big data and the variety of data sources.  The software will continue to get better and artificial Intelligence will be normalized and developed as a tool.

David’s involvement in the DSA program helps support the goals of building strong effective data driven journalists. David knows the landscape of Data Journalism and he has the professional experience and contacts to back up his knowledge.  He passes on his knowledge of working with data, it’s work flow, the problems one runs into, and the needs of today’s working professionals.  He helps students in this program to develop the skills needed to be successful at assessing data in a fashion which results in useful and accurate outcomes.  David Hertzog is a valued member of the DSA team.