We’re living in the era of big data, almost every online action of our daily life can be traced and calculated by numbers. Also, we’re no stranger to storytelling using datas. But why data is important to journalism industry? “Gathering, filtering and visualizing what is happening beyond what the eye can see has a growing value,” said Mirko Lorenz in Data Journalist Handbook. We usually say that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, the infographics and videos are easier to understand and more effective and memorable when convey a message via visualizing material.
Take air pollution problem for example, a post from The Guardian a few month ago contains several lists of cities with the most dangerous air in different regions, that is not only report the indexes but also cross compare and provide insights to understand this issue from a large scale.
Also, a video report ‘Under the dome’ about China’s air pollution situation presented by a Chinese journalist Chai Jing also referred large amount of data and pictures to arose awareness and educated the public about this sever emerging disaster. In this video, she quoted datas like PM2.5 index of cities in China, reports from World Health Organization, satellite photograph from NASA and increasing number of lung cancer due to the haze and linked together. All of these datas and analysis gave people a direct-viewing of the problem and start paying attention to it.
This is just a common application of data journalism, the ability to report facts is no longer belong to journalists only, but through different social networks. However, data journalism will interpreting the reports to be more meaningful.
<Under the Dome> video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB6TA5g7Pg0