Data Journalism

We live in an age of information abundance. We constantly refer to digital information when creating a story. We use digital data to trace back information and make connections. The world around us depends on digital data which plays a role in data journalism. Journalist rely on data when it comes to gathering information and uncovering truths or telling complex stories. Journalist use data for a number of things, and all of which help them become better writers. A quote that stood out to me read, “Data can be the source of data journalism, or it can be the tool with which the story is told — or it can be both.” Depending on how a journalist chooses to use data is up him or her. Since raw data can be hard to understand, it takes experienced journalist to decipher it, and an even better journalists to properly analyze it.

The definition of data journalism various according to which journalist you ask. However, a definition that helped me better understand it is, “Data journalism is a new set of skills for searching, understanding and visualizing digital sources in a time that basic skills from traditional journalism just aren’t enough.” This helped me to better visualize that data journalism is basically another way to tell a story using a more futuristic approach. Essentially, data journalism can help to improve coverage on a story and augment in-depth investigations. Newsrooms should use data journalism because it can help the reader better understand complex stories and even uncover issues that have since gone unnoticed. For example, at BBC, “The job of the data visualization team is to combine great design with a clear editorial narrative to provide a compelling experience for the user.” That being said, newsrooms can benefit from using this more modern form of journalistic approaches. Briggs also touches upon this in chapter 9. Being that our world is constantly driven by data, he encourages us to learn how to understand it. The digital sphere is vast, which means there is still so much information that has yet to be discovered.

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