[ddj] Defining datajournalism

marco Laucelli mlaucelli at gmail.com
Thu Oct 6 15:41:32 UTC 2011

Hi all,
this discussion is very exciting to me, and I would be happy to get your
feedback on the following, that is just a summary of my thoughts of what
DDJournalism means to me. In the usual definitions of Data Journalism I've
found, as those cited in your previous mails, there are at least two
important aspects I find lacking:

*1) Getting closer to real-time:* As the technology is evolving the world is
becoming more and more instrumented and interconnected, as a consequence
there would be a large amount of data created and transmitted in real-time,
involving interactions and transactions among people, devices and physical &
logical entities. The ability of developing capabilities to monitor that
data traffic and detect noticeable events - based on data - seems to be one
of the future scopes of Data Journalism. In the future it seems to me
important considering News Media and journalist being able to detect,
contextualize and rapidly analyze data-events and translate them into
interesting news. Very simple example of this could be traffic events,
emergencies, etc... Some would be noticed and published by public and
private entities, but the technical ability and the skills to do so
independently should be  in my opinion - one of the objectives of future

*2) Use of unstructured data: *there is a tremendous focus - in what refers
most common DDJournalism references - on structured data, and in particular
on structured data coming from public entities (Open Data). It seems to me
very important for the future DDJournalism being able to capture relevant
and noticeable information from unstructured data and in particular from
digital conversations such those being held in social networks. The ability
of structuring that information, and combining it with structured data is
crucial - in my opinion, again - to get complete insight of what is
happening behind data. I think that any definition of DDJournalism should
take into account seriously unstructured data.

I've put my views on the different flavors of DD Journalism in a chart
conceptual links between time-scales and the data sources for DD
Journalims. I'm currently working on a definition of the underlying
conceptual architecture - tech capabilities, processes & skills - to support
those different flavors. I would really appreciate any feedback on this, and
I'm completely open to collaborations for this purpose.

Thanks in advance for your interest.
Kind regards,

2011/10/6 Nicolas Kayser-Bril <n.kayserbril at gmail.com>

> #done
> Changelog:
>    - Creation of entry Datajournalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datajournalism>
>    - Complete overhaul and change of meaning of Database journalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_journalism>
>    - Creation of Structured journalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structured_journalism>,
>    which redirects to Database journalism
>    - Re-creation of the page Computer-assisted_reporting<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-assisted_reporting>,
>    which, in my opinion should be merged with data-driven journalism
>    - Proposal of a merger of Computational Journalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_journalism>with data-driven journalism
>    - I've also tried to clarify and wikify the Data driven journalism<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_driven_journalism>entry, but that'll take time.
> All contribution/feedback/edit war welcome!
> nkb.
> --
> Datajournalist since 2007
> nkb.fr <http://nkb.fr?m>
> +336 50 57 53 80
> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 12:12 PM, Nicolas Kayser-Bril <
> n.kayserbril at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Mirko, Tom,
>> Many thanks for your feedback! It concurs to the idea of datajournalism as
>> a byword for 'new stuff in information management', starting from data
>> collection and how to envision a story to interactive apps.
>> I'll include your points in the Wikipedia entry!
>> Best
>> nkb.
>> --
>> Datajournalist since 2007
>> nkb.fr <http://nkb.fr?m>
>> +336 50 57 53 80
>> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:29 AM, Tom Kronenburg <tom.kronenburg at zenc.nl>wrote:
>>> Dear Nicholas,
>>> I will publish a report on open data and datajournalism on the
>>> ePSIplatform.eu
>>> In it, I recognize 4 types of activities that i consider datajournalism.
>>> (naturally, with any definition you draw lines that are a bit arbitrary)
>>> " There are four basic types of data journalistic activities. All four
>>> types can use PSI, and we will provide examples of how journalists used Open
>>> Data to write their stories. Data journalists use (open) data
>>> To discover newsworthy facts or stories [from data]
>>> To discover trends hidden in [large] datasets
>>> To compile datasets for further dissemination to the public.
>>> To create data visualisations."
>>> 1: is what you might consider CAR (even though i understand that CAR is
>>> as much an umbrella-word as data-journalism).
>>> 2: is different from 1, because the timing is different. I'd say the
>>> first category is about a single event, while 2 is about trends.
>>> 3: is what you call "Database Journalism" or structured journalism.
>>> 4: I have swept together all visualization/interaction stuff in one
>>> category: "Infographics, dataviz, interactive viz (for me the same as
>>> dataviz, although with different tools) - same goes for serious games".
>>> So, basically, i think we agree on the main points that are in there.
>>> I don't really know whether or not distinguishing category's 1 and 2 is
>>> important, but for me it feels like they are very different types of
>>> activities. The first is 'searching' through datasets, combining single
>>> lines, whereas trend discovery is much more about statistics, massive
>>> computation and such.
>>> When the report is published, i'll let you know.
>>> Kind regards, Tom
>>>  *Tom Kronenburg
>>> *
>>> *Zenc | Focus op oplossingen
>>> *Alexanderstraat 18
>>> 2514 JM Den Haag
>>> KvK:  27190312
>>> Tel:  +31 70 3626944 of +31 6 55778353
>>> Fax:  +31 70 3921835
>>> tom.kronenburg at zenc.nl
>>> www.zenc.nl
>>> *
>>> *
>>>        *
>>> *
>>> Op 6 okt 2011, om 10:30 heeft Nicolas Kayser-Bril het volgende
>>> geschreven:
>>> Datajournalism has been widely used to unite several concepts and link
>>> them to journalism. Among these are:
>>>    - *Computer assisted reporting* and *data-driven journalism*, where
>>>    journalists make use of large databases to produce stories,
>>>    - *Infographics*,
>>>    - *Data visualization*,
>>>    - *Interactive visualization*,
>>>    - *Serious games*, in the sense that they take interaction a step
>>>    further, and
>>>    - *Database journalism* or structured journalism, an information
>>>    management system where pieces of information are organized in a database
>>>    (as opposed to a traditional story-centric organizational structure).
>>> I also plan to rework several entries, notably:
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> data-driven-journalism mailing list
>>> data-driven-journalism at lists.okfn.org
>>> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/data-driven-journalism
> _______________________________________________
> data-driven-journalism mailing list
> data-driven-journalism at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/data-driven-journalism

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/data-driven-journalism/attachments/20111006/5be17fe1/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the data-driven-journalism mailing list