Frederik von Castell, Datenjournalismus

Frederik von Castell, M.A.

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Office hours by appointment

1. If you do your research right, you sleep better. 2. PDFs are where data goes to die. 3. There is a separate hell for people who create tables incorrectly. And for those who put data into PDFs.

Frederik von Castell is an adjunct professor at the Department of Journalism, and his responsibilities include digital research, verification, data journalism and multimedia projects. Von Castell served as a research assistant at the Department of Journalism from October 2015 to September 2020.

Frederik von Castell works as a data journalist primarily for Hessischer Rundfunk (primarily hr-iNFO-Politics and the Story Editorial Department). Previously, in addition to his work at the Department of Journalism, he worked as a freelance (data) journalist for HR and ARD, Wirtschaftswoche, FAZ, Welt, ZDF and Chrismon, among others. He is active as a trainer for the DJV, Netzwerk Recherche, the Academy of Consumer Journalism at the Department of Journalism and at various conferences.

Frederik von Castell studied sociology and German language and literature at the University of Potsdam and journalism at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. In his bachelor’s thesis (2013), von Castell conducted a qualitative content analysis of German textbooks with regard to human rights education in a state comparison of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Brandenburg / Berlin. In his master’s thesis, von Castell dealt with transsexuality among minors. As a journalistic final project, published in the Welt am Sonntag, he accompanied a trans boy on his way to gender reassignment.

Von Castell is researching data journalism in Germany as part of a dissertation project in addition to his journalistic work and duties as a lecturer. His dissertation project accordingly deals with quality in data journalism, supervised by Univ. Prof. Dr. Tanjev Schultz. Sascha Venohr (head of data journalism in the investigative / data department at ZEIT ONLINE) acts as external mentor.

In 2018, the Gutenberg Academy of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz accepted von Castell as an “outstanding doctoral student” as a sponsored junior member.

In the same year and as part of the HRiNFO team, Frederik von Castell was awarded the Reporter Prize in the category “Multimedia” for the project “Victims without a Voice”. The jury praised the work as an example of how large, relevant stories can be told with little money. The project was undertaken with the specific perspective of the authors. It was also awarded the HR Video Prize 2019 and the Childhood Award 2019.

In 2020, the project “Schweigefuchs”, in which Frederik von Castell was involved as a data journalist, received the HR Video Preis 2020 in the category “On all channels!” Medium magazine listed Frederik von Castell among the “Top 30 under 30” up-and-coming journalists in June 2020.

Since the end of 2019, von Castell has been sponsored by the Studienstiftung der Süddeutschen Zeitung with the goal of advancing his dissertation project and continuing education in programming for data journalists. At the end of 2019, von Castell completed the bootcamp “Data Journalism with R”, consisting of 13 training days in presence and various online units at the Catholic School of Journalism ifp (speakers: B. Witzenberger, Marie-Louise Timcke, Kira Schacht, Steffen Kühne; director: Isolde Fugunt).


Reporter Award 2018 in the category “Multimedia” (in a team) for the project “Victims without a voice”.

HR Video Award 2019 in the category “On all channels!” (in the team) for the project “Victims without a voice”.

Childhood Award 2019 of the World Childhood Foundation for the project “Victims without a voice

HR Video Award 2020 in the category “On all channels!” (as part of a team) for the project “Schweigefuchs” (Fox of Silence)

Medium magazine “Top 30 to 30” in 2020


2018-2020 Gutenberg Academy; individual support for “outstanding doctoral students and artists (junior members) of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz”.

2019-2020 Studienstiftung der Süddeutschen Zeitung; individual sponsorship to “talented journalists [...] to deepen expertise in their own chosen field of specialization in Germany and abroad, at universities and other educational institutions [...]”


Netzwerk Recherche (since 2016)
Reporter ohne Grenzen (since 2018)
#ddjbw (seit 2017)
Plan International (seit 2015)