“Why do you think data journalism has become so important?
Four words: Explosion of available data. This data gives context to journalists’ stories.”
– Elina Makri.
The Datassist Resource List for March, focused on data journalism tools, just went out yesterday. The interesting thing in putting together this list–in reading and listening to journalists and data scientists talk about the future of data journalism–is the increasing demand for tools that not only help convey the story, but also support accountability, accuracy, interconnection, and mobility.
In the Digital Future of Data and the Economy, Elina Makri (cofounder of Oikomedia, a platform to accurately connect journalists to other journalists), says that data journalism is exploding in connection to the explosion of available data that can give context to stories. Data “married to narrative structure and expert human knowledge” is essential for providing “compelling multimedia storytelling”, greater freedom and accountability.
In the podcast “Data Stories #46“, data journalist Robert Kosara (eagereyes – Visualization and Visual Communication) and Andy Kirk (Visualizing Data) talk about what happened in visualization in 2014 and what may happen in 2015. They discuss the future of the role journalism will play–referring to the “thrilling” implications of the “Serial” podcast series—building a story around a fact base.
Investigative Reporters & Editors published a review of the new book by Brant Houston: Computer-Assisted Reporting-A Practical Guide, which instructs the beginning data journalist in basic data analysis, discussing why CAR tools should be an integral part of reporting, and the need for accuracy in working with large datasets in journalism.
With data-driven journalism, the standards for accuracy will have a higher bar to meet, as a FiveThirtyEight.com case study shows, “Editor’s note (May 16, 3:35 p.m.): This article contains many errors, some of them fundamental to the analysis.”
Thus, the need for skepticism and transparency, along with greater data skills. As a result of these important factors, tools for data-driven journalism are coming into high demand.
A number of leading organizations are rising to the challenge to serve this growing need for data-savvy journalists. Datassist provided links to a number of these tools in Smart Data-Driven Journalism Tools including courses and free online training, lists of data journalism resources, manuals, and work tools.
If you’d like our professional expertise in helping you tell your story, contact Datassist.