Top

Ashley Kirk

Multi-talented digital journalist exploring the worlds of data extraction, statistical analysis and multi-platform reporting.

 

Welcome to my online CV. To see my shorter, static CV, please get in touch.

 

Below you will find details of the work I have produced, my employment history and my skillset. You will find more information, and work I've produced, on my blog.

Work History

City, University of London

Visiting lecturer | September 2016 - current

I teach students on the Introduction to Data Journalism module, enabling them to feel confident in telling a data-led story. Leading labs that teach students the key skills in data journalism, I help equip the next generation of journalisms with techniques that allow them to find, clean, analyse, visualise and communicate data.

The Telegraph

Data journalist | Author Contribution Page | May 2015 - current

I source datasets to find interesting patterns, facts and stories. I produce data-based reports on the daily news, as well as working on longer-term projects and investigations. I play an instrumental part in shaping the publication's data output, as the first member of the team.

2014

City AM

Online writer | Author Contribution Page | December 2014 - June 2015

At City A.M., I took on the role of reporter, producing stories optimised for the web, using SEO and social media skills. These may involve multimedia or infographic content, in order to best engage the business community. I regularly analysed datasets in order to find patterns or stories, and then used a variety of tools to visualise data-led content.

Reporting on the News Desk, I investigated and researched for my own and others’ articles, through phone interviews, freedom of information requests and search engines. Developing these ideas and leads into full articles, I produced several pieces which were published online and in print. One of my World Affairs stories ended up on a feature on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

Birmingham Mail

News intern | Example of work | June 2013

I worked on the news desk helping to create gripping stories, adapting the take on stories to maximise their attractiveness to the Birmingham Mail’s readers. I contributed to a live blog to cover a particularly bad storm which caused major disruption in the city. This placement showed me how local journalism works. I assisted other journalists with their stories by sourcing case studies, interviews and other supportive content to sustain and supplement published material.

2012

Redbrick

Digital Editor | April 2013 - July 2014

I oversaw our developer team to create a new, responsive website which moved the newspaper to a digital-first publication that emphasised multimedia and student engagement. As well as editing the publication’s social media accounts to optimise our online presence, I used tools such as Google Analytics to analyse our website metrics. Working in partnership with Redbrick's Editor, we instigated a shift in the newspaper and website's content to better suit the student population. We finished the year with a much more effective Multimedia team, producing great interactive content with film, audio and social media, as well as better systems in place to tackle live coverage, utilising live blogging tools.

University of Birmingham

Student Ambassador | October 2011 - July 2014

I needed flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing work circumstances when I worked as an Ambassador, a representative of a world-renowned instutition. This frequently involved doing regular talks and campus tours to large groups of different people, in which I had to interact, build a rapport and answer questions from the visitors. Responsibility and strong spoken communication are essential in my work as an Ambassador.

...

Portfolio

Below is a selection of my work, produced for a variety of publications. These vary from written investigative reports to comment pieces, from design work to full-scale digital or editorial projects.
  • The Telegraph

    Author profile page

    View it

  • The Guardian

    Author Contribution Page

    View it

  • The Independent

    Author Contribution Page

    View it

  • Metro

    Author Contribution Page

    View it

  • City A.M.

    Author profile page - from my time as an online writer.

    View it

  • Selly Oak Society

    As Editor of the SOS magazine, I dramatically shifted the design and content of Issue 3 to suit our audience: students moving into private housing.

    View it

  • Blog

    I've written my blog for several years and it has accumulated over 50,000 views. I write about whatever interests me, usually about digital journalism.

    View it

  • Redbrick

    See main website homepage.

    View it

Redbrick

I produced a lot of articles in my time at Redbrick, whether as reporter, online news editor or digital editor. In the latter role, I also helped design the website and newspaper, as well as direct content. Below is a portfolio showing some of my investigative, design and written work.

Education & Training

City University London

MA Interactive Journalism, Distinction | 2014-2015

City allowed me to expand my digital skills on the Interactive Journalism course, building on the foundations of my Digital Editor position at Redbrick. Data journalism and community engagement became key interests of mine, and I have been able to develop interesting, engaging and interactive online pieces by utilising these pioneering areas of journalism. I also learnt a lot about media law and the ethical side of reporting, ensuring that I can act responsibly on the spot while making tough editorial decisions.


George Spencer Sixth Form

2009-2011

  • • A* - A Level Government and Politics
  • • A - A Level English Literature
  • • A - A Level Extended Project
  • • B - A Level Geography
  • • B - A Level Mathematics
  • • A - AS Level General Studies

University of Birmingham

BA English, Honours Class II (Division I) | 2011-2014

My studies at the Birmingham English Department not only taught me analysis and evaluation skills, but they have also developed my writing style by allowing me to engage in a wide variety of literature. This has made me a well-rounded, organised and thick-skinned individual. The many assessments I completed in the University of Birmingham's prestigious English Department resulted in excellent analytical and editorial skills, as well as the ability to produce high quality work efficiently and to a deadline.


George Spencer Academy

2004-2009

  • 4 A*s - including GCSE Mathematics and English Language
  • 5 As - including GCSE English Literature and Additional Science
  • 1 C - GCSE French

Digital Education & Experience

My education in website development is not formal, nor is it complete, however I have learned different code languages, technologies and software during my time as a digital journalist. I have learnt to utilise such tools effectively to improve my work. Much of my knowledge of code is from Codecademy.com tutorials.

 

Software

  • • Adobe Creative Suite - including InDesign and Photoshop for image editing
  • • Data tools such as Outwit Hub, Google Fusion Tables and Tableau
  • • Microsoft Office products. Confident with Excel, Word, Powerpoint
  • • iMovie - allowing me to effectively edit multimedia material
  • • Working knowledge and application of HTML, CSS and Javascript
  • • Experienced with Search Engine Optimization & Google Analytics
  • • Solid confidence with a variety of social media platforms

Other Education

I relish the opportunity to learn new things and increase my understanding of the world around me. While my formal education is currently finished, I still take part in a variety of activities to test and improve myself.

 

Current Areas of Study

  • New data analysis, cleaning and visualisation techniques
  • Computer assisted reporting
  • R and SQL
  • Coding languages
  • Innovations in the media
  • SEO, social media and community engagement
  • Portuguese
  • Beer and pale ales

My Skills

Web scraping Confident
Photoshop & Illustrator Confident
HTML/ CSS Confident
Investigations Confident
Content management systems Confident
Data analysis and cleaning Confident
Visualisation and infographics Confident

Profile Overview

• Goal-oriented, motivated and energetic team player
• Strong abilities to self-start and multitask efficiently and independently
• Commitment when under pressure, working to deadline or facing fast-paced, challenging projects - whilst never losing accuracy or attention to detail
• Well-developed communication, negotiation and problem solving skills
• Adaptable to assume a strong sense of leadership and direction where necessary
• Diverse skillset helping my willingness to learn the skills needed in the exciting world of digital journalism


Improving skills

  • Continue learning new coding and programming languages
  • Become increasingly skilled with new technologies at the forefront of journalistic innovation
  • Broaden my use of data tools in my arsenal

Some of my other skills

  • 85/100 WordPress
  • 45/100 Code languages
  • 75/100 Content Management Systems
  • 70/100 Confidence
  • 55/100 Web and graphic design
  • 90/100 Teamwork
  • 80/100 Social Media
  • 60/100 Cycling
  • 75/100 Investigating
  • 65/100 Adobe Creative Suite
  • 75/100 Interviewing and transcribing
  • 85/100 Proofreading
  • 85/100 Data analysis and visualisation
  • 100/100 Desire to learn & improve

Contact

I relish new experiences and opportunities and am excited to find out what's around the corner. I look forward to gaining new skills, meeting new people and working together to create great things.
References available on request.

Contact info