Data journalism in the second machine age
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Data journalism in the second machine age

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  • 1. Data Journalism in the Second Machine Age On Networked Transparency, Algorithms and Accountability Alexander B. Howard Tow Fellow, Columbia University March 17, 2014
  • 2. What is the role of the Fourth Estate in holding the use of algorithms and data accountable?
  • 3. First, some history.
  • 4. Newspapers have used data for centuries Source: The Guardian
  • 5. 1960s: computer-assisted reporting (CAR) Bob Woodward, via Cliff1066
  • 6. Traditional tools applying tech to journalism… • Calculators and Graphs • Mainframe and PCs • Spreadsheets • Databases • Text and code editors • Statistics • Programming
  • 7. 2010: “Data-driven journalism is the future” Source: Tim Berners-Lee in the Guardian
  • 8. …combined with new tools & context… • Online spreadsheets and wikis • Data visualization tools • Open source frameworks • Code sharing • Agile development • Cloud storage and processing (EC2 &Heroku) • More data and more access • Privacy and security riskss
  • 9. 2014: data journalism is the present Gathering, cleaning, organizing, analyzing, visualizing and publishing data to support the creation of acts of journalism
  • 10. Trendy but not new • The collection, protection and interrogation of data as a source, complementing traditional “shoe leather” investigative reporting relying on witnesses, experts and authorities
  • 11. Dollars for Docs
  • 12. A tangled web
  • 13. Los Angeles Times
  • 14. More than 36 interactive databases published Data sets account for 75% of overall traffic [Source: CJR]
  • 15. La Nacion
  • 16. Reuters: Connected China
  • 17. Center for Public Integrity
  • 18. Emerging trends
  • 19. Networked reporting of corruption ICIJ: Offshore Leaks
  • 20. “If Stage 1 of data journalism was “find and scrape data,” then… Stage 2 was “ask government agencies to release data” in easy to use formats. Stage 3 is going to be “make your own data”, and those sources of data are going to be automated and updated in real-time.” -JavaunMoradi, NPR
  • 21. Sensor Journalism
  • 22. Safecast open source Geiger counter
  • 23. Networked accountability
  • 24. Drones + data collection
  • 25. Privacy challenges
  • 26. Security challenges • Protect your sources? Protect your data!
  • 27. Ethics & politics over media use of data • Gun map graphic
  • 28. Accountability for “personalized redlining” • Gun map graphic
  • 29. Transparency for geographic profiling • Gun map graphic WSJ: Websites vary prices, based upon user information
  • 30. Monitoring predictive policing • Gun map graphic Verge: Chicago crime and profiling Geekwire: Predictive Policing
  • 31. Investigating human tissue trafficking • Gun map graphic ICIJ: The data behind skin and bone
  • 32. Data + journalism + activism + responsive institutions = social change
  • 33. Government of the people, for the people, by the people, with the people.