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Dr Aidan O'Donnell

Dr Aidan O'Donnell

Lecturer Data Journalism (Teaching and Scholarship)

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

+44 (0)29 208 76048
2.68, Two Central Square, Central Square, Cardiff, CF10 1FS
Available for postgraduate supervision


I teach data journalism at Jomec to undergraduate, MA and MSc students and I'm a course co-director for our MSc in Computational and Data Journalism.

I've worked as a journalist in broadcast and online and I've reported on Africa and France for major media and as a freelancer. I've been teaching numeracy in journalism for several years at undergraduate and postgraduate level and my job generally is to make data analysis a standard tool for journalists.

I used to teach at Middlesex University and Université Paris 8 and I've run journalism workshops at LUISS (Rome) and the IPJ (Paris).



  • 2007 - 2021 Freelance Journalist
  • 2016 - 2018 News Editor, RFI, Paris
  • 2012 - 2016 Journalist & producer, BBC, London
  • 2007 - 2012 Journalist & Output Editor. RFI, Paris


  • HEA Fellow, 2019
  • PGCert HE, Middlesex University, 2015
  • PhD, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2010
  • Maîtrise & DEA, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2003
  • BA, BMus, University College Dublin, 1998



  • Swaine, M., O'Donnell, A. and Stephenson, N. 2021. Making complex ideas accessible. In: Swaine, M. ed. Writing for Journalists, 4th Edition. Routledge, pp. 163-180.




Current courses

  • Data Journalism (MSc, MA)
  • Data Journalism in Theory & Practice (BA)
  • Digital Investigation (MSc)
  • Introduction to OSINT (MSc, MA)

Course co-director


I've run data journalism workshops for journalists in Cardiff, and I've given overview talks for the general public at the university's summer school.


I am interested in supervising reseach in the following areas:

  • Data journalism
  • Mapping and visualisation in journalism
  • Digital humanities

Previous masters-level work I have supervised includes:

  • A machine-learning model for sentiment analysis of British football reviews
  • Visual journalism and coverage of the 2020 US election