Now you’re a journalist; you’re in the newsroom thinking and planning your next story and then suddenly your editor hands you a document filled with numbers, statistics rather and says “Give me a story”. You’re are to produce a story on stats, that’s data journalism right there! It is creating content out of statistics, graphs, analysis, and even pundit’s opinions. Journalists do not really need to be always going out there, chasing stories and making calls. Data journalism is much more laid-back than the other forms of journalism.
Sports and business reporting are the most common examples of data journalism. Data journalism requires a lot of time and many skills; so many parties could be involved in this namely; journalists, researchers, statisticians, information designers, data and text analysts, information visualisation specialists and web developers even, because of data in the modern world being strictly computer-oriented.
Think of data-driven journalism in sport, soccer maybe. Let’s say there has been reports constantly criticising Mesut Ozil‘s performances for Arsenal, right? Now the English Premier League captures statistics of players, through data-driven journalism I as a journalist would then have a look at his recent performances in comparison to previous performances that were considered good. I would have to sit with the data, read and understand it, analyse the data and finally communicate the data. At the end of it all, data-driven journalism would’ve have enabled me to write an article that refutes the criticism against Ozil’s performances of late. That’s the beauty of it, it depicts facts.
In the business side of things; I guess we’ve all noticed that in every news bulletin there is a business news section. How do you think all those numbers, commodities, figures, financial projections, etc come about? Simple, data journalism! There are databases containing this form of data and of course it is constantly updated because the financial world is always in motion and you probably have heard of the saying that says “money makes the world go around”, makes sense? Proceeding, financial reporters are in possession of this data and they then analyse and formulate and broadcast the most recent data.
Data-driven journalism is very much about facts because numbers don’t lie. There’s just so much that this sort of journalism does it can create personalised calculators to help people to make decisions, be this buying a car, a house, deciding on an education or professional path in life or doing a hard check on costs to keep out of debt. These journalists can analyse the dynamics of a complex situation like riots or political debates, show the fallacies and help everyone to see possible solutions to complex problems.
In conclusion, data-driven journalism has introduced a new dynamic to the profession. The dynamic being reporting on what’s under the surface and great piece of verification in the work produced. It is certainly a great form of journalism that young and upcoming journalist are likely to be interested in as it indulges very much into modern technology with computers, databases, online surveys, etc. Cheers to data-driven journalism!