The Concept Of Data Journalism
In 2005 over 10,000,000 Indians used the internet for news and information. Mobile was the “bigthing”. Data Journalism today is a form of online journalism that has survived because it is authentic and credible. Data Journalism is a new approach to journalism that focuses on facts, images, and investigative work instead of traditional reporting. Websites are trying out new methods of improving readability in line with the latest digital trends within Journalism and the Media industry. News contains interactive tools which are reliable, accessible and foster a culture where stories have an impact in unexpected ways. Today, journalism has visual media and Data embedded.
Data Journalism is the key to surviving the digital transition. What is Data Journalism exactly? Simple answer: Journalism that is done using data. But data journalism is not just about adding numbers. Data journalism is more than just adding numbers to a story. It’s combining ‘nose for the news’ with readily available ‘data.’ Data Journalism in practice is the creation of a narrative based on the exclusive statistics available, their analysis, and the structuring into an informative story. Shajan K. Kumar, Assistant Prof., Bennett University, describes Data Journalism as journalism that uses more numerical research. He says, “Facts are supported by figures!” Data journalism can help you focus your attention on the point you are trying to make. Data journalism is more powerful in the ‘new-media’ world that we live in. In today’s evolving ‘new media world, data journalism has the upper hand. Data journalism is a powerful tool in today’s ‘new media world’. Why Data Journalism is needed? There are many sources of news. The blogs and social networks are a great way to get the latest news. The lack of filtration and the tendency to fake news are all due to a lack of knowledge about credibility. Data Journalism is crucial in this situation. The data in the stories is what connects readers to authenticity.
When the data is viewed correctly, even less important stats can reveal valuable information. The ability to filter, visualize and gather information that is beyond the scope of what we can see will continue to grow in value. Nick Routley comments on Data Journalism and the global evolution of Journalism. He says, “With fake news spreading across the globe in recent years, people want more reliable information. It is more important to trust articles that are backed up by data.
Data Journalism is a way to meet the demands of readers who are interested in compelling stories. Journalism must change its focus to “present stories as they develop” rather than just reporting first. Data Journalism is a great way to improve workflows, boost reader credibility, and eliminate fake news. Data Journalism is constantly being revolutionized with the help of pioneers, such as The Guardian and New York Times. IndiaSpend – a Mumbai non-profit, independent website – is one of many prominent examples in Data Journalism. In 2011, the website claimed to be ‘the nation’s first data-driven journalism initiative’. IndiaSpend published a data-driven article that showed that 52% of the violence against bovines was directed at Muslims over an eight-year period (2010 to 2017).
The Hindu presented another data story that was groundbreaking. It showed that DMK’s, AIADMK’s, and TDP’s earnings accounted for over 60% of the total regional party income. The website is held accountable and the public can see the transparency of the story. Data Journalism is becoming an important part of reporting in the digital age. How do you get started in Data Journalism? Data Journalism is a very broad field. Topics such as the next economic boom or financial crisis, exposures of political issues, etc., are also included. As a Data journalist, you are not bound to a specific field. It is only necessary to be creative and have a keen eye for data.
Subhomoy Brattacharjee, Business Standard’s Consulting Editor, says that every story requires data-investigation. “Earlier, it was the job of businesspeople to crunch numbers and analyze data. Now, people are demanding more information. You can graph chemical needs using data, or count the homeless. Today, data driven stories can come in many forms, sectors, or faces. It is up to the journalist’s creativity how they use them. Every story must include data. Data journalism is similar to not having to have a degree in a particular area of expertise. A journalist only needs to analyze data in order to write stories. To be able to separate the fact from the hype, you need to determine what is really important. Nick Routley explains that having an understanding of statistics is important, along with the ability to understand white papers, report methodologies, and where to locate reliable data sets. Journalism Schools are required to teach Data Science as well as Investigative Reporting. Shajan Kumar says learning data science will help our journalists interpret data in a more user-friendly way. Some Skills & Responsibilities…
Priority is given to those with experience in the editorial and news departments. However, a good grasp of statistics and media resources are also required. A key skill is to be able to analyze, question and visualize numbers. Data Journalists are able to reveal hidden facts by using this skill. Essentially, a learner able to deal with complex statistics in an appealing and understandable manner; similar to journalism. In a report from Google News Lab and PolicyViz 42% journalists stated that they regularly use data in their stories. 51% of news organisations have a data reporter on staff. India’s data journalism is still facing challenges, despite its massive growth. Subhomoy Battacharjee, a journalist from India, explains that the main reason for this disparity is the poor internal management of data in newspapers and television channels. Journalists don’t have any training in data analytics, and they aren’t even doing it. We need to close this gap.
Shajan Kumar also says that “Indian journalism has been completely different.” News is often emotionalized. Facts are not always available on time! All journalists should be studying data science. But things are changing. Data journalism is a growing interest among Indian journalists. Some of the best articles are based on data. The challenges are a great opportunity to learn and grow.