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Pioneering data journalist John Burn-Murdoch honoured by Cardiff Metropolitan University

News | 22 July 2022

Cardiff Metropolitan University has awarded John Burn-Murdoch with an Honorary Doctorate.

John Burn-Murdoch is a British journalist who currently works for the Financial Times. More specifically, John is renowned as a pioneering data journalist, a role that involves the processing of large amounts of data, enabling readers to digest that information.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, John’s journalistic skills came to the fore in terms of conveying to the world exactly what mankind was facing, following the story from initial minor reports of an outbreak in China to the global tragedy witnessed by all of us. During that time, the Financial Times’ audience rose from its traditional thousands into the millions, with John’s Covid-19 trajectory tracker charts informing debate and impacting decisions across many sectors.

As such, the importance of his work cannot be overstated and will probably only be fully realised in years to come.

Commenting at Cardiff Met’s graduation ceremonies, John said: "It’s a huge honour, it’s absolutely something I could not possibly have expected. When I got that letter from the Vice-Chancellor, it not only made my day, it made my decade.

"I wasn’t even able to go to my own undergraduate graduation so this is a huge day for me. It’s a huge honour and privilege and I’m very very grateful."

John is also a visiting lecturer at City, University of London, covering topics as diverse as story development, web scraping, data cleaning and digital cartography. He started his journalistic career as a sports reporter on the Doncaster Free Press and, prior to joining the Financial Times in 2013, enjoyed spells with The Guardian and the consumer magazine Which?

He has worked with the Royal Geographical Society as a learning and leading mentor, helping RGS-funded students plan conservation projects abroad.

Besides an MSc in Data Science from the University of Dundee, John also has an MA in Interactive Journalism from City, University of London, together with a BSc in Geography from Durham University.