by Infogr.am

Data journalism: Math over Intuition

The Inverted Pyramid of Data Journalism and the new skills we must all learn

July 18, 2012

When journalism entered the multiplataform age, it changed forever. And that change is so huge that even the inverted pyramid has lost some of its importance, being valuable just until the news is finished. To communicate it using the digital platforms, the pyramid is inverted, and the ‘visual’ side is gaining more and more importance in the final result.

(graphic: Paul Bradshaw | OnlineJournalism Blog)

In this context, a new way of making journalism is growing and, according to Sandra Crucianelli – that coordinates a work group about the topic in Argentinian newspaper La Nacion -, its becoming a specialized field of expertise: data journalism. It’s a new technique of investigation, in which the results are based on quantitative and qualitative variables applied to a mathematical model. And among all the data (the Big Data), a pattern or a change in the behaviour will lead to the conclusions – the news. Paul Bradshaw, a leading authority in this matter, explains it:

Data journalism begins in one of two ways: either you have a question that needs data, or a dataset that needs questioning. Whichever it is, the compilation of data is what defines it as an act of data journalism.

This new way of research, crossing data and conclusions about a subject, is changing the stereotype of the press journalist – once alone in his quest for a scoop, today a multidisciplinary team that involves not only journalists, but programmers, analysts and system designers. Data journalism moves closer to the field of exact sciences, bringing mathematics into journalism courses around the world. The challenge of enabling new professionals  to understand how to take advantage of the numbers may be the big difference between journalism taught and practiced before and after the Internet and social networks. Here are some of the tools which were incorporated into the daily lives of journalists:

Written by Vany Laube

Corporate communication consultant, following enthusiastically the effects of technology and the internet in this area. Nominated for the 8th Women's Press Award, for the work done on her blog Mosaico Social. Keynote speaker and Social Media strategist, she's only one Google away.

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