Data utilization in the journalism

Since the concept of big data was proposed, it has been spread into all expense and subtracts all of the world. In big data is already applied in journalism and in different kinds of mass media by using different kinds of cutting edge technology. Data journalism is nowadays a new form of the way in storytelling. Compared to the traditional journalism in visualization techniques. Nowadays the journalism is using a lot of advanced technology, the information can be collected in from the place to the center of the media by transferring using the Internet. Data can be explored using the camera and even cellphone, a lot of social websites can help with the fast spreading speed. At the same time, the feedback can be collected and sent back to the information center, according to the new analyse tools, the taste of audience can be found and more news can be posted in order to attract more audience.

For example, the very famous video ‘A Bite of China’ actually came from a series of videos talking about different kinds of culture in different regions in China. By collecting the feedback from an advanced technology from audiences, the CCTV realized that the one episode talking about food culture was very popular, therefore they started a new series of videos focusing on the food culture in China and then became super popular. Therefore, from my point of view, the new technology should be applied to journalism and big data collection and analysis are crucial for the journalism.



Image result for curiosity killed the cat

Journalists for years have been analysing information but they’ve kept it a secret where exactly they are getting this data from and we want to be in on the secret! (side-note. I am aware they do reference where it is from and no cats were injured in this post.)

As public’s, we have a curiosity and a greater need for making our own interpretation and opinions on the information we have presented in front of us.

We want it raw, in all its real beauty. Sometimes merely seeing the data is enough to cure that curiosity. KISS – keep it simple stupid.

For example PR week used infographics to explain ‘influencer marketing’. 

It is great when the work is all done for us, where journalists have already chosen the best and most juicy bits of information from data, but the time has come where we want more. (Of course there is data I’ll never be able to analyse, so yes I will leave that up to the professionals)

See below professionals job to analyse:

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BUT we ‘want an active role in determining its own meaning from the data’. We want to deconstruct and construct the data.

Never fear though journalists, you haven’t lost your role and or responsibility of investigative narrative journalism, we don’t want to kill the journalists job by doing it solo, we do still need the journalist to find or access this data to then present to us, we aren’t the ‘reciprocal participant in the journalistic process’.

Rather the data being there just enhances our understanding and meaning more. It is important that the journalist is able to tell a story through the data. According to an article on Forbes data story telling includes three important aspects: data, visuals and a narrative.


Feed us things these three aspects and it won’t only explain and engage us but it will also invite us to be enlightened.


DATA JOURNALISM; the essential tool

Now a common fabric of journalism, Data Journalism (DJ), like all aspects in the realm of journalism practice, has to continuously adapt and keep up with the maturing digital market. This creates challenges for those invested in DJ but also excitement as it means innovation and creativity, ensuring journalism will continue to progress and adapt to its digital environment.

The creation of ‘Global Editors Network’, where ‘data journalists, editors and their teams’ come together, ensures exchanges of ‘best practice and new models’ will be shared internationally as well as challenges shared to overcome.

DJ requires updated ‘digital literacy’ by both the journalist and their audiences. Growing these skills can take time, and with digital media and technology changing rapidly, there is a greater need for us as students to be aware of these changes.


An additional challenge is the reluctance that exists by journalists to invest financially into DJ, carrying out journalistic practice that truly enters into the more deep-rooted issues of inequalities in their countries, especially those in developing countries. The counter argument though is that there are journalists who are transforming traditional journalism, and embracing DJ to uncover ‘corruption and mismanagement hidden just below the surface and citizens are hungry for accountability’.

Data journalism provides transparency to its citizens. Just recently, Ben Wellington, a ‘quantitative analyst’ revealed that the NYPD had been issuing parking fines to cars that were legally parked. His investigative analysis brought up several other issues, including questions of ‘open data’ but also demonstrated the power that is held by a data-driven investigative journalist and what difference they can make to citizens along with consumers purchasing decisions.


Is Data Journalism Supposed to Be Accurate?

Data journalism is a relatively new subject in the world of journalism. According to Appelgren and Nygren, data journalism is about stories that “are usually based on large data sets that often consist of public data or data collected with the aid of the general public.”

However, I often question whether data journalism can actually represent the actual situation that we have in real life?

Compared to traditional journalism, data journalism has certainly provided an alternative narration for news such as election news. In an article by Solop and Wonders , they examine how both modes of journalism present each of their own narratives in the case of 2012’s Presidential Election in the USA. They found that traditional journalists had inconsistent data where Obama’s lead over Romney was very slim and some media even reported that Romney would win, and it was the result of different ideologies and perspectives driven by pundits. On the other hand, data journalists constructed a narrative that Obama was consistently leading and it came to no surprise that he eventually did win.

However, in another case, data journalism might not be as accurate as it might seem. A good example is the recent gubernatorial election in Jakarta, Indonesia. In this article, it is discussed that the then incumbent governor would probably lose in the first round of the election.


However, the result turned out that Ahok, as the incumbent governor, won the first round of the election as specified in this article.

Jakarta election’s first round result. Source:


The different outcome could be a result of various factors, including the change of voters’ decision in the last minute. However, with two different results in two different countries, I can safely argue that we should not always take data journalism at face value. With that being said, I can also vouch for data journalism as a source of legitimate news because it presents more integrity than the politically driven traditional journalism. However

With that being said, I can also vouch for data journalism as a source of legitimate news because it presents more integrity than the politically driven traditional journalism. However, data journalists should also fully disclose their source of data in order to be trusted by the audiences.


Open Data in Journalism

The access to the open data in a country is becoming a crucial factor for the journalism and the social media is a huge source for data.

For example, the data from some social website should provide their data to the journalism or even normal user as they have the right to know it.

In the finest developed a new world everything is becoming clear in front of people.  People are extremely wanted to have the information that they should have. For example, they don’t have the concept about the message on Facebook, how the website keeps their security, how many messages were sent every year, it is interesting to know in order to track the development of Internet. This can also be useful to the students who study marketing or computer science. For example, in China, Sina Weibo had given its report to the public every year about the utilisation of the blog. Therefore, we are able to get the access to the information of how the internet is widely used what for what reason people are using it. I do think it’s a healthy way to publish this data. By doing this, the journalists are also able to have the idea about where and how they could arrange the news. Also, they can have the idea about the occupations and the age of people who get access to a media, and them news videos can be better performed by customers. Therefore, the open data in journalism is really important and those data should be publicised.

How to range webpage better by collecting feedback?

At the development of the digital media, people have more and more access to the news and other information.  They are even free to talk about their idea about the news by comments. And social media indeed find the feedback of the readers becoming more and more important. At the same time relating to the same news, different people in different countries have different ideas about it. Therefore, it is also really important to collect these feedback from people and analyse them. The paper introduced us Journalism 2.0, the new technology to analyse and making the news.

The research found out that the number of the comment related to the type of the news the pattern of the news and even the position of the news on the website. By using the new technique Journalism 2.0, most of the website make the full use of this principal. The minatory or important news will be put with the big title and in the centre of the website.  At the same time, they will choose the least concerned news at the bottom or in the corner.  By doing this they could attract as much audience as possible. At the same time, by analyzing the comments and feedback, the web page can figure out people’s attitude to the news. In order to let more people to participate in the news and activities, more work has to be done in the future years in collecting people’s feedback. The application of the new technology is a good idea for this.


Definition User-Generated Content: information submitted by members of the public or posted on social media

BREAKING NEWS – reported from John Smith, Manly

BREAKING NEWS – reported by Stacey Shaw, Armadale

BREAKING NEWS – reported from Benjamin Rodgers, Bondi


The media landscape is changing. Traditional media may no longer be first on scene and or first to discover the news. Now citizens are at the scene generating images and or updates on news, especially disasters, creating content as it happens. During the London bombing in 2005, it was citizens who helped locate the bombs.

Why is user-generated content becoming one of the most authentic news sources? Because it is in real-time, its one-to-many and then turns into a many-to-many allowing it to spread, be re-shared and used by any one of the public.

This creates blurred lines between the journalist and publics and so it is so important now that journalists engage in digital and operate by ‘digital first’. For those in communication, there isn’t a pinnacle skill level as we have come to learn this semester, that constantly history of the internet and digital are changing and it is up to us to keep up to date on advances being made.

So much UGC is out in the digital world, both content happening in the moment as well as content that is archived. Therefore journalists need a forensic approach, to be able to collate and distinguish which UGC content is reliable, authentic, useable and truthful. Applications such as ‘Twitter Stand’ are just one example of a system that ‘can gather and disseminate breaking news faster than conventional news media’.

UGC is growing at fast rate; being able to gather, analyse and utilise the unique content is a journalistic tool that is essential.

*This was week 8

Twitter Is My Source of News

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Nowadays it’s getting even more difficult to watch the news on television or read newspapers. Mostly because I don’t watch too much TV anymore and I perceive newspapers as not environmentally friendly. But at the same time, as a part of the millennial generation who often fears of missing out on the latest updates, I still need to read the news to know what is going on with the world around me. That is where social media comes in handy.

On social media, I am mostly active on Twitter and Reddit. Hence, I follow the necessary outlets as pictured above (please disregard the Nihilist Arby’s and The Onion for I have a dark sense of humour sometimes) on my Twitter account.

Twitter for me has come very handily in following news updates, especially if you follow the right media outlet, people with influence, or when some hashtags appear on the trending topic list. My behaviour, as explained by Weeks and Holbert, is among the advantages brought upon by social media in relaying the news. By using social media to consume the news, the users maintain much control of the information environment. Additionally, users can also participate by selecting which content to consume and sharing it with others.

This has also led to the rise of what is commonly known as ‘citizen journalism.’ Propelled by the rise of smartphones and tablets, citizen journalism can be described as news reporting by locals who happen to be on the scene of events. Some have taken citizen journalism as helping news outlets to create news stories, while others criticise citizen journalism because it is not a real journalism and may spread fake news/hoax. Twitter is especially useful for citizen journalism because a tweet can often spread fast and gain wide attention within hours. For more details about citizen journalism, you can read this article by Mashable.

TL;DR Thank you, Twitter for providing me news updates every day!


“When I grow up, I want to be an entrepreneur of journalism.” Tess McPherson

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If this was something that was said ten years ago there would have been faces of disbelief and disgruntled murmurs coming from any journalist working in print as some would and still do argue it goes against the journalists role in a democratic society.

The desired outcome of being an entrepreneur of journalism is to take ownership and earn a profit while they still maintain their journalistic values. This though can come into conflict as the entrepreneur prioritises profit over values.

Change is happening within the education systems around journalism. While universities such as UNSW are still teaching students the traditional functions of journalism, there has been an extension and added value inserted to ensure students maintain and progress with the changing digital and print climate.

Forbes is a prime example of entrepreneurial journalism, similar to the Huffington Post. The site offers a platform for credential experts to help build the brand of Forbes by allowing the content creators to build their own brand by relying on individual’s reputations and ability to create readable content. Forbes provides the reporters tools, training, promoting and marketing support and the contributors provide their expertise. While some are paid, some aren’t. Why are some not paid? They just want to be associated with the Forbes Brand, build themselves a name in the business environment and after time hopefully be able to be their own driver and earn income from it.

Forbes is just one example of Entrepreneurial Journalism, in another ten years, technology will have changed and other forms of journalism will have taken its place.


The Future of Media Funding Lies Within Sponsored Content (Or Is It?)


Last week, I’ve mentioned a little bit about BuzzFeed Envy and how it generates revenues and sponsored contents. Of course, I did mention how BuzzFeed produce articles with little content and clickbait titles. While that is indeed true, you have to admit the one thing that BuzzFeed is doing right: Sponsored Content.

As we all know, online media nowadays have been struggling in trying to find their source of funding. In a paper by Krumsvik , she highlights that internet advertising has not fully taken over the market from traditional media’s advertising channels. Sure, internet advertising has surpassed newspaper’s advertising, but overall internet advertising market is still far behind traditional advertising channel.

Thus, some media seek alternative methods to fund their business. Some of them use the subscription methods, while others simply urge the audience to donate to their cause.


And then there’s BuzzFeed. With its sponsored content business model, BuzzFeed seems to be doing great, much better than its contemporaries. They offer different varieties of advertisement and partnership that will surely attract brands to advertise with them.

So, why does this model work? In a feature article from, the founder of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti, has given us the secret to his website’s success. It involves more than just clickbait titles or the shareable contents, as it’s all about the algorithm, the data-driven apparatus that uncovers the secret that makes people click on a link.

One question looms: is this the best model as a source of funding for online media?

I personally believe that this model does not work for everyone. I mean, can you imagine a media like New York Times doing a sponsored content like BuzzFeed has done so far? In the end, it depends on what kind of online media it aims to be. Since its inception, BuzzFeed has decided to be a website full of shareable contents and eventually capitalise it. Online media with credentials meant to be as news media will not be able to replicate BuzzFeed’s model because of the said credentials.

It surely is not easy for online media to survive with the current business model, but if they can come up with a different model, maybe partnering with traditional news media like Krumsvik suggested, I think they can survive for more years to come.