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Open Data and Empowering
Intermediaries
Why and how the Open Data Movement wants to
transform Journalism
27.06.14 | 1
Stef...
Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland
27.06.14 | 2
Outline
1. Why activists are interested in Journalism
2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism
3. Concluding thoug...
1. Why activists are interested in Journalism
› Short answer: Because the empowering potential
activists see in Open Data ...
1. Why activists are interested in Journalism
› Empowering potential of Open Data?
› Transformation of Open Source culture...
1. Why activists are interested in Journalism
› Raw data is an oxymoron! But…
› Sharing it openly democratizes the process...
1. Why activists are interested in Journalism
› For activists, this democratization of information has
the potential to em...
1. Why activists are interested in Journalism
› But: Without (Data-)Intermediaries, no
empowerment
› Empowering intermedia...
2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism
› In two ways:
1. Seeking co-operations and offer teaching
2. Acting as i...
2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism
› Co-operation and teaching
27.06.14 | 10
2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism
› Acting as intermediaries
› Trying to fulfill ‘journalistic’ functions o...
2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism
› Acting as intermediaries: Complementing or
replacing professional journ...
2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism
› Acting as intermediaries: Complementing or
replacing professional journ...
To summarize…
1. Activists are interested in journalism because the
empowering potential of Open Data can only be
fulfille...
3. Concluding thoughts
› Broader implications?
• Activists in the Open Data movement apply
practices and values from the O...
3. Concluding thoughts
› The ‘datafication’ of society may not only lead to 'Big
Data rationalities', but also to a spread...
Thank you!
27.06.14 | 17
Stefan Baack, PhD Candidate
Centre for Media and Journalism Studies
University of Groningen
s.baa...
Reference
› Kelty, C. M. (2008). Two Bits: The Cultural
Significance of Free Software. Durham: Duke
University Press. Retr...
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Open Data and Empowering Intermediaries. Why and how the Open Data Movement wants to transform Journalism

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Presentation given at the Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space conference in Amsterdam.

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Open Data and Empowering Intermediaries. Why and how the Open Data Movement wants to transform Journalism

  1. 1. Open Data and Empowering Intermediaries Why and how the Open Data Movement wants to transform Journalism 27.06.14 | 1 Stefan Baack, PhD Candidate Centre for Media and Journalism Studies University of Groningen s.baack@rug.nl - @tweetbaack
  2. 2. Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland 27.06.14 | 2
  3. 3. Outline 1. Why activists are interested in Journalism 2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism 3. Concluding thoughts 27.06.14 | 3
  4. 4. 1. Why activists are interested in Journalism › Short answer: Because the empowering potential activists see in Open Data can only be fulfilled with intermediaries that make raw data accessible to the public 27.06.14 | 4
  5. 5. 1. Why activists are interested in Journalism › Empowering potential of Open Data? › Transformation of Open Source culture: ‘raw data’ is regarded as ‘source code’ that should be shared openly 27.06.14 | 5
  6. 6. 1. Why activists are interested in Journalism › Raw data is an oxymoron! But… › Sharing it openly democratizes the process of interpreting it › Availability of raw data breaks information monopolies and represents a ‘democratization of information’ › Everybody has the opportunity to make his or her own interpretation of raw data 27.06.14 | 6
  7. 7. 1. Why activists are interested in Journalism › For activists, this democratization of information has the potential to empower citizens because it allows them… › …to better understand and control their governments › …to participate meaningfully on a broader scale 27.06.14 | 7
  8. 8. 1. Why activists are interested in Journalism › But: Without (Data-)Intermediaries, no empowerment › Empowering intermediaries should be: › Data-driven › Open › Encourage participation 27.06.14 | 8
  9. 9. 2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism › In two ways: 1. Seeking co-operations and offer teaching 2. Acting as intermediaries themselves 27.06.14 | 9
  10. 10. 2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism › Co-operation and teaching 27.06.14 | 10
  11. 11. 2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism › Acting as intermediaries › Trying to fulfill ‘journalistic’ functions outside professional journalism – complementing or replacing it? 27.06.14 | 11
  12. 12. 2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism › Acting as intermediaries: Complementing or replacing professional journalism? Example 1: FragDenStaat.de (WhatDoTheyKnow) 27.06.14 | 12
  13. 13. 2. How activists attempt to influence Journalism › Acting as intermediaries: Complementing or replacing professional journalism? Example 2: FrankfurtGestalten.de (‘ShapingFrankfurt’) 27.06.14 | 13
  14. 14. To summarize… 1. Activists are interested in journalism because the empowering potential of Open Data can only be fulfilled with ‘empowering intermediaries’ 2. Values and practices of activists have the potential to reinforce the position of professional journalists as ‘data-intermediaries’, but at the same time could also challenge the professional autonomy of journalism 27.06.14 | 14
  15. 15. 3. Concluding thoughts › Broader implications? • Activists in the Open Data movement apply practices and values from the Open Source culture to society at large through Open Data (see also Kelty 2008) • Open Data as a ‘vehicle’ of values and practices from Open Source culture? 27.06.14 | 15
  16. 16. 3. Concluding thoughts › The ‘datafication’ of society may not only lead to 'Big Data rationalities', but also to a spread of values and practices from Open Source culture, which can form the basis to articulate concepts like participation, democracy and journalism in new ways – Relevance? 27.06.14 | 16
  17. 17. Thank you! 27.06.14 | 17 Stefan Baack, PhD Candidate Centre for Media and Journalism Studies University of Groningen s.baack@rug.nl - @tweetbaack
  18. 18. Reference › Kelty, C. M. (2008). Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. Durham: Duke University Press. Retrieved from http://twobits.net/read/ 27.06.14 | 18

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