Data Journalism in the UK – IAMCR 2013
Data Journalism: a preliminary analysis of form and content.
More than two years ago Sir Tim Berners-Lee made the pronouncement that “Journalists need to be data-savvy … but now it’s also going to be about poring over data and equipping yourself with the tools to analyse it and picking out what’s interesting.” (in Arthur, 2010) Although journalists are not widely known for taking advice from people outside the profession (or even within it) this new form of data-driven journalism seems to have been adopted quite rapidly at least in the rhetoric of news production. Simon Rogers, of the Guardian newspaper’s Data Blog is probably the best-known proponent of this form of journalism claims that it is “rapidly becoming part of the establishment” (2011).
The truth of this statement is certainly debatable, but it is clear that data journalism has joined online,mobile, citizen and participatory as one of the many new forms of communication and interaction with which media professionals needs to engage. Of course, as with the above-named new forms of journalism, there remains considerable confusion and disagreement over what constitutes data journalism, whether it is in fact new, or a form of journalism, the extent to which it is being practiced and should be examined. This analysis intends to be a preliminary survey of the kinds of data-based stories being presented in the national news in the UK, and to lay the groundwork for an analysis and typology of the forms and formats of data journalism, leading to a greater understanding of how data-driven journalism is being done, and the forms in which it is being presented.
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