Looking for Data on Data Journalism

August 15, 2016 by Nate Williams

After ten fantastic interviews with data journalists about their work, one point is already clear – data literacy is an increasingly essential skill.

Matt Keifer of the Chicago Reporter puts it succinctly: “Data is getting to be ubiquitous. … I think that ‘data journalism’ is an anachronism waiting to happen. Just call it journalism.”

Daniel Hertz, Senior Fellow at the City Observatory, looks at open data when exploring a new story: “It usually starts with a question and you realize that this is an answerable empirical question, and the numbers are publicly available, and nobody has put them together yet.”

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, an investigative reporter and journalism teacher, observes: “For me, data journalism is using publicly available data to strengthen or fortify your reporting. … [It’s] using data to ask more probing and systemic questions than what you can do by only working on individual cases.”

And so the data projects begin.

A Call for More Data!

Up to this point, we’ve dug in hard on the qualitative end of our Data Journalism Research Project. But we’d certainly be remiss not to tackle the quantitative side as well, right?

To that end, based on our discussions, we’ve created a quick survey to get some insight on the most common data tools, formats and procedures used by journalists. We think it’ll end up being pretty instructive.

Our plan is to get this out far and wide into the data journalist community to get the zeitgeist of how journalists are using data. After the survey period closes, we’ll publish the aggregate results for all to see.

We Need to Hear From You

Willing to help the cause? Please click the button below; it’ll take less than two minutes to complete.


Thanks for your help! Results will be coming posthaste. We can’t wait to share what we learn.