Data journalists, one of the few staffing shortages in media

For months, I’ve had this video open in a tab in my browser. Over the holidays, I finally found the time to watch it, and I’m glad I did. It’s a 54-minute documentary about the rise of data journalism (also known as database journalism).

What is data journalism? Well, watch the video, but the too long;didn’t read on it’s concerned with mining large data sets of (usually) publicly available data and presenting the results in useful ways that the average reader can understand. The Guardian’s map of IED attacks in Afghanistan is a good example.

Here’s the video:

If I were in journalism school at the moment, I’d focus on this field. I’m no expert, but the capacity to derive meaning and build contextually-useful visualizations from big data sets is, to my mind, one of the few growth opportunities in the media. Here’s a nice piece on how to get started.

Coincidentally, I just got pitched about an O’Reilly conference on a related topic.


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