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Mining Data, Refining Journalism? Data Journalism’s Development and Critical Potential

Mon, May 29, 8:00 to 9:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 3, Aqua Salon C

Abstract

When it comes to reporting practices, journalism’s response to datafication is so-called data-driven journalism (DDJ) often considered as the future of journalism. Using a standardized content analysis of projects nominated for the Data Journalism Awards (DJA) from 2013 to 2016 (n = 225) we analyse DDJ’s development and examine how the data sources and types, visualisation strategies, interactive features, preferred topics and types of media outlets involved have changed over the years. Our results demonstrate that the structural elements and presentational forms DDJ is built upon remain markedly stable. The new style of reporting it engenders, however, has become increasingly personnel intensive and is progressively spreading around the globe. Journalists still tend to focus on data from established institutions but are also starting to utilise unofficial data sources. On the basis of our results we evaluate DDJ’s potential for innovation and its ability to fulfil an investigative and watchdog role.

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