The U.S. and U.K. general elections. Gun violence. Volkswagen’s emissions scandal. According to “Data Journalism: Inside the Global Future,” media coverage of major stories like these is incomplete without data journalism.
“Data allows to us to find — and tell — stories in new and innovative ways,” says Damian Radcliffe, the book’s co-editor and the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism in the University of Oregon (UO) School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC). “Visualization, for example, can enable us to demonstrate key points more effectively than text. This is really important at a time when media consumption is increasingly visual and when many audiences often skim content from multiple sources.”
In this newly released follow-up to the best-selling “Data Journalism: Mapping the Future,” Radcliffe and his co-editors — Tom Felle, a journalism lecturer at City University London, and former BBC director/producer John Mair — assert that data journalism is now the in-demand skillset for anyone who wants to work as an investigative reporter.
As an industry, however, data journalism faces some inevitable growing pains. “Perhaps the biggest challenge is the size and volume of many of the datasets now in the public domain,” Radcliffe says. “The format that data are released in can also be an issue. Many data journalists spend a long time ‘cleaning’ data before they’re able to full investigate it. Finally, there are now so many tools available for journalists that keeping up with the developments is a challenge, but a great opportunity too!”
The SOJC will host a book launch for “Data Journalism: Inside the Global Future” on Thursday, Nov. 19. During this free public event, Radcliffe will present key case studies and takeaways from the book, which features 30 chapters from 30 global experts in data journalism. Two of the book’s contributors, SOJC Assistant Professor Nicole Dahmen and Steven Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will also summarize their chapters and take questions from the audience. The presentation takes place in Allen Hall (Room 141) on the University of Oregon campus at 4:15 p.m., followed by a catered reception at the Allen Hall Hearth.
“Data Journalism: Inside the Global Future”, which sells for $32 through Amazon, covers a range of issues relevant to data journalism contributed by journalists, developers and academics from around the world, including Dahmen and Doig; Simon Rogers, data editor at Google; Helena Bengtsson, editor of data projects at “The Guardian;” and Megan Lucero, data journalism editor at “The Times” and “The Sunday Times.”
Story by Andra Brichacek