data journalism

Data journalism: tug-of-war between stories, data and programming

Open data was seen for journalists and editors as a solution to rescue an industry in decline, says research by Jonathan Stoneman. Suddenly, there was an access to all sources of information and the need to hire people with different backgrounds to crunch this data.

Simon Rogers discusses on his book Facts are Sacred that this new wave represents a way to save journalism. Journalists can acquire a new role and act as a bridge between those who have the data and the public that need help to understand it.

Even though this new role can help journalists to inform better the audience, professionals differ in how they define data journalism and people who work in this field. Do we focus on data, journalism, or both?

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audience, data, data journalism, journalism, media

AUDIO: “The best data journalism combines traditional reporting with data work” says Simon Rogers

Last month I had the opportunity to hear professionals around the world talking about data and investigative journalism at the NODA and Tutki!2016 conference in Helsinki.

Following some workshops, I found out how to put data in context to design visualisations with Jan Willem Tulp, find data on the internet -for instance through Facebook- with Henk van Ess, or to make the most of Fusion Tables with Peter Sjoholm. 

After some lectures, I learned that we need data free from local authorities with Nicolas Kayser-Bril, how automation can help hyperlocal newspapers with Jens Finnäs, or to seek information outside traditional sources with Simon Rogers.

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data journalism, data visualization, Interactivity

3 good narrative visualisations around human stories

Data visualisations are increasingly using narratives to convey complex information, as Edward Segel and Jeffrey Heer discuss on Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data. From a few case studies, they show different storytelling formats -away from the traditional ones- and analyse both the layout and the content.

On this paper, they share some words by Jonathan Harris, creator of We Feel Fine and Whale Hunt, who considered himself a storyteller and visualisation designer, in this order:

“I think people have begun to forget how powerful human stories are, exchanging their sense of empathy for a fetishistic fascination with data, netweorks, patterns, and total information… Really, the data is just part of the story.”

I agree. Nowadays, there are interactive pieces and tools that gather plenty of datasets without a human voice or face. Yesterday, I spent some time reviewing creative agencies websites around the world and spotting some pieces that wrap both data and human stories. Below are 3 good examples:

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