Data Journalism

Another interesting aspect that we’ve come across in our research is the field of Data Journalism, which could easily be considered a part of the Open Journalism eco-system. From the Data Journalism Handbook, I was able to glean these key points on what this form of journalism is:

  • Combination of traditional journalism, with the ability to tell a story with the scale and range of digital info now available.
  • Complex stories can be told through engaging info graphics, or how a story relates to an individual, and it can open up the news gathering process.
  • Data as the source, and data as the tool with which the story is told.

Once again, the Guardian is showing everyone how open it is to new models of journalism by employing this model, but it seems Australian news broadcasters are not out of the loop either. The ABC (already looking to work more collaboratively with their audience using projects such as ABC Pool and ABC Open) is also working on implementing data journalism on its website. One of the main benefits of data journalism seems to be however, that it allows for a more open and transparent look at the facts of a story, and allows the audience to interpret the numbers for themselves, without simply taking a journalists word for it.

The Coal Seam Gas By the Numbers project that the handbook mentions is still up on the ABC site, and contains corrections from the editor down the bottom, where data has been revised or incorrectly stated, a list of references used in compiling the report, and invites users to have their say on Twitter, Facebook and the comments thread.

Geoff McGhee, an online journalist who specialises in multi-media and inforgraphics, produced this video piece about Journalism in the Age of Data that is very informative.

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