Data-driven journalism: What is there to learn? (Stanford, June 2010) #ddj
What is there
Mirko Lorenz, Information Architect • Innovation Projects
IJ-7 - Innovation-Journalism Conference, Stanford - 7-9 June 2010
Deutsche Welle, Direktion Distribution - Innovation Projects
re is th
Will journalists need to learn how to code?
How can a journa list make money wit
e n ce
News offerings are packages
Easy to use
(30 minutes for overview)
Central place for Opportunity to connect
Delivered to front door Classifieds for jobs,
Best way to reach (local, specific)
audiences through advertising
Fallen to pieces, what‘s next?
Main points of this talk:
- Basics: What is data-driven journalism?
- Process: What is there to learn for journalists/media?
- Motivation: How can journalists use data to create value?
Perspective on data
„The sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians.
People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that
computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the
1990s? The ability to take data—to be able to
understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to
visualize it, to communicate it—that’s going to be a
hugely important skill.“
- Hal Varian, Google Chief Economist, McKinsey Quarterly, Jan.
Shouldn‘t journalists be part of this?
When was the last
time media really
solved a problem for
What is data-driven journalism?
Data-driven journalism is a workflow
1. Digging deep into (big) data (scrape, cleanse, structure)
2. Mining for „nuggets“ of information (filter)
3. Visualizing information in graphics or multimedia specials
4. Connecting classic storytelling with otherwise dry statistics
5. Creating media that has value for readers/users
A measure for value could be that users of such offerings are
willing to pay $5, $10 because the value of the information
presented is so obvious.
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Who can benefit from data-driven journalism?
Looking for in-depth answers, not „more of the same“
Do a new form of „reporting“, understand the patterns that surround us
Entering a field where converged formats create relevant value
Needed for innovative presentation of "information nuggets"
Apply their knowledge of data-mining, data integration and analysis
USERS ARE INCREASINGLY BORED
THEY SEARCH FOR INSIGHTS, BUT IT‘S FRUSTRATINGLY DIFFICULT
Participants in this study did show
signs shallow and erratic news
consumption. People wanted more
depth and were trying to find it.
Unfortunately their attempts to
substantiate and validate stories were
not actually getting them anything
BECAUSE THEY ARE
PUBLISHED IN PRINT OR
Why we need data-driven journalism...
Online work to be 'data-driven'
Posted: 16/10/02 By: Caroline White
"Journalists will do less 'been-there,
done-that' reporting as readers demand
more continuous coverage of issues“
"Consumer news is a hard sell in a lot of newsrooms because
it's not going to win a Pulitzer, but people really want objective
information about what they are buying or have bought." -
Hal Straus, database editor and manager for Washington Post:
Why we need data-driven journalism...
„....we will have to increasingly rely on
"data" to feed our stories, to the point
that "data-driven reporting" becomes
second nature to journalists.“
Zach Beauvais, Journalism Needs Data in the 21st Century, ReadWriteWeb, August 5, 2009
Does media understand the inherent structure of its own information?
This article is a must-read in order to understand how thinking in newsrooms should change.
Adrian Holovaty: A fundamental way newspaper sites need to, 2006
WE NEED BETTER FILTERS...
Creating value with data-driven journalism
- Help making the really important descisions
- Business - Markets, Finance, Training, Innovation
- Politics - Budgets, Programms, Initiatives
- Consumers - Buying a house/car/insurance, Orientation, Future
- More specific
- Total cost calculations with no selling interest behind
- Reducing time to find the answer
- Radically reformatting information to make it easier to use
- Unearthing the truth in past or even future events
Example: Guardian doing crowd-sourcing in expense scandal
Not as new as it sounds: Big and small examples
- Thomson Reuters (Thomson moving from news to data)
- Economy.com (Moody‘s)
- Economist Intelligence Unit
- GapMinder, Karolinska Institute/Google
- Big Fat Story, Daily Beast
- Information is beautiful
- Flowing Data
- EveryBlock (acquired by MSNBC)
Data-driven journalism: An evolving workflow model
We need to look at the whole chain to create value
Main Digg Transform Visualize Present Storytelling Distribute
Specific Tracking Scraping Charts Multimedia Making it Transform
Tasks data sources Cleaning Calculators specials as a memorable information
Structuring key format into usable
Your own data
Examples data.gov Open Data Information is New York Mediastorm eMarketer
datagov.co.uk Data sets beautiful Times
Worldbank API Duck Rabbit Statista
Flowing Data Innovative
e.g. Guardian Interactivity Bombay Flying
Eurostat (?) Thomson
Data-Blog Elastic Lists Club
Toni Hirst Tableau Magazine Adam
http:// ManyEyes Westbrook
Deutsche Welle and „data-driven journalism“
Practice what you preach...
Training- and Service Center Data-driven journalism
Main idea: Connecting media companies with data-specialists
Group: Data-Specialists, Publisher, international media/training
Goal: To achieve a much higher level of data-integration through specialists
Demonstrate what data-driven journalism can be, train journalists
Developing and building examples of data-driven journalism
Making sure that complexities of data integration are no barrier
Adding a European perspective:
Articles on data-driven journalism
Profiles of data-driven journalists
Events & Training
Curriculum for data-driven journalism
Data-driven journalism: Short list of links, sites and books
- Adrian Holovaty: A fundamental way newspaper sites need to change (2006)
- Hal Varian on how the Web challenges managers, McKinsey Quarterly, 2009
- Zach Beauvais, Journalism Needs Data in 21st Century, ReadWriteWeb, 2009
- Stijn Debrouwere, We’re in the information business (April 2010)
- David McCandless: Information is Beautiful (Blog)
- Nathan Yau: Flowing Data (Blog)
- Ian Ayres: Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-By-Numbers is
the New Way To Be Smart, 2007
- Data.gov (US)
Question to the audience
What is the one reason keeping you
from exploring data?
Thank You! Merci! Danke!
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