Data journalism is a journalism speciality that involves collecting and analyzing large amounts of data using specialized software and making the information understandable to the audience through articles, info-graphics, data visualizations, or interactive applications.
Computer-aided journalism was first used on the CBS television network in 1952 to predict the results of the presidential election. Simon Rogers, who implemented the DataBlog section in The Guardian newspaper in 2009, notes that data journalism has been in some newspapers since 1858. From the 1960s to the present day, journalists have sought to monitor through the analysis of public data using scientific methods and the technology at their disposal. As technology advances, it is also easier for journalists to analyze large amounts of data since the same technology provides the tools that serve both to obtain the data and to extract the information and the sample of trends and relationships between them.
The work process of a data journalist includes the use of specialized tools in data management and processing such as ScraperWiki (QuickCode), Google Forms or DataWrapper. Although data is of decisive importance in this discipline, some specialists emphasize using the data to explain stories and provide answers – the data is only the starting point, not an objective in itself.
Data journalism gets its sources from the institutions, but not all information is accessible to journalists or the general public. Each country establishes its legality in terms of data transparency, access to public information and good governance establishes the obligations of administrations in terms of public access to data. presently they cover the following areas :
- Cybercrime reporting
- Computer assisted reporting
- Data visualization
- Interactive visualization
- Database journalism (structured journalism)
Various political administrations worldwide offer the public to access their data and currently, the list of institutions with open data is progressively increasing. Data journalism has benefited from this trend and today many international media outlets have specialized sections in which articles are published based on data analysis, infographics, visualizations and interactive applications and in some cases also offer access to their databases.