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Data Journalism – The Future of News

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The recent Obama win changed the way Politics is played. The data crunchers with sophisticated statistical analysis and data mining helped Obama micro-target the voters and earn those precious four more years in the Oval office. The win showed that data analysis along with political instincts is the way to go for clinching the deal. Data analysis can do wonders for our World when applied not just in Politics but also to other macro-environmental factors including social, economic and technological. And who better than the fourth estate to make efficient use of this technique to bring about the change in the world. This brings us to data-driven journalism called data-journalism.

Data JournalismData journalism is a journalism specialty reflecting the increased role that numerical data is used in the production and distribution of information in the digital era. It reflects an overlap between journalism, computer-science, statistics and design. With technological advances and freely available data, data journalism is seen as the future of news.

Data can be the source of data journalism, or it can be the tool with which the story is told — or it can be both. The use of data in story-telling has long existed but the emergence of data-journalism as a concept is fairly recent. The Guardian was the first major news organization to use this in coverage of Iraq war and also start a new data gathering approach with Datablog. Other story examples include ‘The MP’s expenses’ by The Telegraph, 2012 Olympics stories, Hans Rosling’s work on visualizing World’s Poverty, David McCandless’s work on Icelandic Volcano and solving murder mysteries and finding patterns in serial killings.

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The Data Journalism Handbook is an effort to bring the knowledge and skills required for data-journalism at one place. It is a book written under Creative Commons license with many contributors. The Data Journalism Handbook was born at a 48 hour workshop at MozFest 2011 in London. It subsequently spilled over into an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism’s leading advocates and best practitioners. Though not an exhaustive list, it hopes to serve as a good starting place. It can be downloaded as a pdf or read online.

Whether you are a journalist, data-lover or a designer you will love this.

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