The Art and Science of Data-Driven Journalism

Following four years of interviews with hundreds of editors, professors, reporters, technologists, government officials, and “hacker journalists,” this project details best practices of using data in journalism and offers solutions to remaining significant cultural, fiscal, and technical barriers to the adoption of data journalism and digital skills. The report suggests professional development along with statistical and scientific instruction for journalists, increased security practices around journalism, and a raised standard for accuracy and corrections. In addition, newsrooms must diversify their staff, and data journalists need to go beyond acquiring and cleaning data to understanding its provenance and source. Journalists must consider when it is appropriate to scrape data, access data, store it, or not—and understand that sensitive data will need to be protected with the same vigor that journalists have protected confidential sources.

Project lead: Alexander Howard

Team member: Jonathan Stray

January 01, 2014