0
"Analytic Journalism:
Digital Evolution in the
Datasphere"
Tom Johnson
Managing Director
Inst. for Analytic Journalism
San...
Presentation to the
South African National Editors Forum
22 November 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa
Today’s conversation
• Journalism past [briefly] and present
• What is Analytic Journalism
• Where we think journalism is ...
What’s Changed in Journalism?
• Old:
“News” = spoken word, text, images
• Today: “News” = Data = 1s & 0s
• Global ubiquity...
What’s Changed in Journalism?
• Datasphere Basic Process:
Data In  Analysis  Info Out
• Former “basic process”
– Superfi...
What’s Changed in Journalism
Industrial Age Journalism
– High capital investment: presses, paper, delivery,
broadcasting e...
What’s Changed in Journalism?
• Constant deadlines, but …
• Breaking news has already broken
• If people already have the ...
What is “Analytic Journalism”
Traditional Journalism
•Quick & Dirty research
•Gather quotes
•Harvest anecdotes
•Get some v...
Cornerstones of IAJ
• General Systems Theory
• Statistics
• Data visualization
- www.niceone.org/lab/refugees/
• Simulatio...
Cornerstones: IAJ version of Analytic
Journalism
• General Systems Theory
1. System boundaries
2. Variables
3. Relationshi...
Newspaper as a system
Theory of Journalistic Process
12
Data In Analysis  Info
Out
Theory. It’s important, valuable.
13
Data In  Analysis  Info Out
•Notes
•Text
•Numeric
•Images
•Charts/Graphs
•Maps
•Aud...
Theory. It’s important, valuable.
14
Data In  Analysis  Info
Out• Notes
• Text
• Numeric
• Images
• Charts/Graphs
• Maps...
Theory. It’s important, valuable.
15
Data In  Analysis  Info
Out• Notes
• Text
• Numeric
• Images
• Charts/Graphs
• Maps...
Theory. It’s important, valuable.
16
Data In  Analysis  Info
Out
• Notes
• Text
• Numeric
• Images
• Charts/Graphs
• Map...
Developing Tools for Collaboration
• Who is using wikis? Google Docs? Zoho?
• Intra-nets
• Inter- and intra-nets
Goals for Journalism Education
• Raise basic admission standards
– Applicants already can write; can do basic arithmetic
•...
Community & Collaboration
• Citizen Journalism and Democracy
in Africa:
“Periodismo Ciudadano y Democracia en África”: Un ...
Online learning; online tools
• ICFJ Anywhere
Global source for high-quality, online journalism courses
taught by seasoned...
Storytelling R&D? Innovation?
21
Storytelling R&D? Innovation?
22
• Potential for “drill-down” dynamics
• Reach URLs
• Show data for statistical analysis
•...
Tomorrow?
• Our job is to “monitor the centres of
power.”
-- Amira Haassaid
23
Tomorrow?
• In a democracy, news media
harvest data; become central
warehouse of citizen’s data
• A “public library” on st...
Tomorrow?
• Paying for news rapidly declining
market.
• So what can journalists offer?
25
"Analytic Journalism:
Digital Evolution in the
Datasphere"
Tom Johnson
Managing Director
Inst. for Analytic Journalism
San...
Theory. It’s important, it’s valuable.
27
Nothing is as valuable as a
good theory.
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Analytic Journalism: Digital Evolution in the Datasphere

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Presentation to the
South African National Editors Forum
22 November 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa

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  • 'How are your jobs different from five years ago?‘ - http://cronkite.asu.edu/mcguireblog/?p=209
    McGuire on MediaThat's what Tim McGuire asked his panelists during a discussion on incorporating New Media into the traditional news industry. "Deadlines are dead," said KNXV-TV news director Joe Hengemuehler. "The deadline is now!"
  • Typically and increasingly requires collaboration of people with diverse and high-level skills.
  • Also
    Portfolio engine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STh0MN02CRg&p=03212D9AD6B7DA85&index=4&playnext=2
    Simtable fire model: http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S1623976.shtml?cat=525
  • boosting its reputation for investigative journalism and circulation figures, but the Guardian is determined to have its share of the scandal cake.  Last week the Guardian launched a 'groundbreaking crowd-sourcing exercise' in which they invited its online readers to help filter the myriad of data on MP's expenses, which was recently released by the government.The project is entirely web based.  The documents, numbering at present 457153 pages, have been uploaded onto a specifically designed section of the Guardian's website, facilitated by the use of a new web framework.  Those interested are invited to create an account and analyse a document presented as un-researched.  It is then up to the reader to decide if it is 'interesting', along Guardian guidelines: "food bills, repeated claims for less than £250 (the limit for claims not backed up by a receipt), and rejected claims".  Next, the reader has to copy out individual entries, make observations as to why specific claims require 'further scrutiny' and the push the 'investigate this' button.  The rest is left to the Guardian team.  The project is still developing, and more pages relating to different MPs are due to be uploaded soon.
  • Although South Africa has a widely spread web of about 1,200 public libraries this does not cover the country-wide need for information. Unfortunately only a few of these libraries are represented on the internet. http://www.goethe.de/ins/za/joh/wis/wtl/ofb/enindex.htm
    SABC - The SABC’s core business is to deliver a variety of high quality programmes and services through television and radio that informs, educates, entertains and supports the public at large.
    SABC Mandate: http://www.sabc.co.za/wps/wcm/connect/3bb9fc8044341da1a563e7c4173d8502/SABCMANDATEPOLICY.PDF?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=3bb9fc8044341da1a563e7c4173d8502
  • Although South Africa has a widely spread web of about 1,200 public libraries this does not cover the country-wide need for information. Unfortunately only a few of these libraries are represented on the internet. http://www.goethe.de/ins/za/joh/wis/wtl/ofb/enindex.htm
    SABC - The SABC’s core business is to deliver a variety of high quality programmes and services through television and radio that informs, educates, entertains and supports the public at large.
    SABC Mandate: http://www.sabc.co.za/wps/wcm/connect/3bb9fc8044341da1a563e7c4173d8502/SABCMANDATEPOLICY.PDF?MOD=AJPERES&CONVERT_TO=url&CACHEID=3bb9fc8044341da1a563e7c4173d8502
  • Transcript of "Analytic Journalism: Digital Evolution in the Datasphere"

    1. 1. "Analytic Journalism: Digital Evolution in the Datasphere" Tom Johnson Managing Director Inst. for Analytic Journalism Santa Fe, New Mexico USA tom@jtjohnson.com
    2. 2. Presentation to the South African National Editors Forum 22 November 2010 Johannesburg, South Africa
    3. 3. Today’s conversation • Journalism past [briefly] and present • What is Analytic Journalism • Where we think journalism is (should be?) heading 3
    4. 4. What’s Changed in Journalism? • Old: “News” = spoken word, text, images • Today: “News” = Data = 1s & 0s • Global ubiquity and fluidity of data • 5 billion cell phones [July ’10] • Africa: 1/3 pop. have cell phones • Metadata • Editors  Database administrators • Is the Mass Media dead? 4
    5. 5. What’s Changed in Journalism? • Datasphere Basic Process: Data In  Analysis  Info Out • Former “basic process” – Superficial research – Gather anecdotes & quotes & AV – Write, i.e. String together in “acceptable form” – Publish/broadcast soonest – Do it again tomorrow 5
    6. 6. What’s Changed in Journalism Industrial Age Journalism – High capital investment: presses, paper, delivery, broadcasting equipment – Low investment in “wet ware,” i.e. employees and their skills Digital Age Journalism • Low capital threshold for data, analytic tools, “publishing” • High educational threshold for data, analytic tools, “publishing” • Power shift from authority and institutional power to sub-groups and individuals
    7. 7. What’s Changed in Journalism? • Constant deadlines, but … • Breaking news has already broken • If people already have the “news,” what do we have to contribute? 7
    8. 8. What is “Analytic Journalism” Traditional Journalism •Quick & Dirty research •Gather quotes •Harvest anecdotes •Get some video •String together in a 30, 60, 90-sec story •Repeat tomorrow 8 Analytic Journalism •Not events, but context & trends •Define phenomena of interest as a SYSTEM •Employ RRAW-P process Research  Reporting Analysis  Write  Publish”‟ •Non-traditional analytic tools: GIS, data mining, forensic accounting, Social Network Analysis
    9. 9. Cornerstones of IAJ • General Systems Theory • Statistics • Data visualization - www.niceone.org/lab/refugees/ • Simulations - Simtable Fire Model - St. Marks Square - Venice boats - Zozobra park
    10. 10. Cornerstones: IAJ version of Analytic Journalism • General Systems Theory 1. System boundaries 2. Variables 3. Relationships between variables 4. System has goals 5. System capable of “learning” 6. System exists in an environment • “System” can be self defined; can be defined by outside observer(s) • System is “scaleable” 10
    11. 11. Newspaper as a system
    12. 12. Theory of Journalistic Process 12 Data In Analysis  Info Out
    13. 13. Theory. It’s important, valuable. 13 Data In  Analysis  Info Out •Notes •Text •Numeric •Images •Charts/Graphs •Maps •Audio •Video •Atoms  Bits •How? Who?
    14. 14. Theory. It’s important, valuable. 14 Data In  Analysis  Info Out• Notes • Text • Numeric • Images • Charts/Graphs • Maps • Audio • Video • AtomsBits How? Who? • What are we looking for? How can we be surprised? • Source • Definition • Context • Estimating • Counting • Statistical • Geostatistical • Social Network Analysis • Forensic accounting
    15. 15. Theory. It’s important, valuable. 15 Data In  Analysis  Info Out• Notes • Text • Numeric • Images • Charts/Graphs • Maps • Audio • Video • AtomsBits How? • What are we looking for? How can we be surprised? • Source • Definition • Context • Estimating • Counting • Statistical • Geostatistical • Social Network Analysis • Forensic accounting • Broadcast • Web • Audio • Video • Text • Data visualization • Maps • Dynamic databases • Archives
    16. 16. Theory. It’s important, valuable. 16 Data In  Analysis  Info Out • Notes • Text • Numeric • Images • Charts/Graphs • Maps • Audio • Video • AtomsBits How? • What are we looking for? How can we be surprised? • Source • Definition • Context • Estimating • Counting • Statistical • Geostatistical • Social Network Analysis • Forensic accounting • Broadcast • Web • Audio • Video • Text • Data visualization • Maps • Dynamic databases • Archives Contributed content Contributed content & analysis
    17. 17. Developing Tools for Collaboration • Who is using wikis? Google Docs? Zoho? • Intra-nets • Inter- and intra-nets
    18. 18. Goals for Journalism Education • Raise basic admission standards – Applicants already can write; can do basic arithmetic • Develop/improve tools for newsroom and citizen journalism collaboration – Intranets – Wikis – Google Docs – Blogs, social media, Flickr, etc. – Research customization for journalism • Develop tools for story telling
    19. 19. Community & Collaboration • Citizen Journalism and Democracy in Africa: “Periodismo Ciudadano y Democracia en África”: Un libro en línea de Fackson Banda • UK: The Guardian uses the citizen journalist to great effect in Expenses Scandal • Investigate your MP’s expenses • Oldweather.org Oldweather.org • NYTimes Knowledge Network El New York Times ofrece un curso online de periodismo ciudadano 19
    20. 20. Online learning; online tools • ICFJ Anywhere Global source for high-quality, online journalism courses taught by seasoned professionals. • Google Refine Google Refine is a power tool for working with messy data, cleaning it up, transforming it from one format into another, extending it with web services, and linking it to databases like Freebase. • Many Eyes Site is set up to allow the internet community to upload data, visualize it, and talk about their discoveries with other people. 20
    21. 21. Storytelling R&D? Innovation? 21
    22. 22. Storytelling R&D? Innovation? 22 • Potential for “drill-down” dynamics • Reach URLs • Show data for statistical analysis • Ask questions; capture answers
    23. 23. Tomorrow? • Our job is to “monitor the centres of power.” -- Amira Haassaid 23
    24. 24. Tomorrow? • In a democracy, news media harvest data; become central warehouse of citizen’s data • A “public library” on steroids • Digital resources for in-house journalists • Create “dashboards” to monitor gov’t. • Potential to create specialized, non- journalism “products” • Provide data to app creators
    25. 25. Tomorrow? • Paying for news rapidly declining market. • So what can journalists offer? 25
    26. 26. "Analytic Journalism: Digital Evolution in the Datasphere" Tom Johnson Managing Director Inst. for Analytic Journalism Santa Fe, New Mexico USA tom@jtjohnson.com
    27. 27. Theory. It’s important, it’s valuable. 27 Nothing is as valuable as a good theory.
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