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.




Since Youtube, various other platforms that have emerged have changed the way the market operates and the way organisations markets their products.

Instagram is a mix ‘between user-generated and commercially-produced content’. Starting off as a platform to edit photos to share with families and friends, organisations saw it as an opportunity to keep their audiences up to date with the most current trends and products in a cost efficient way.


With the edition of Instastories and Live Videos, brands are able to form those intimate relationships with consumers wherever they may be.

While brands have soaked up the opportunities and benefits that Instagram provides, specifically through the use of influencers who demonstrate ‘authenticity and realness’, the questions dooms whether the return on investment into influencers on the Instagram platform, really benefits the organisation? Are there better ways or better platforms for orgnisations to take advantage of?

AdWeek found that Instagram as a platform worked better for certain industries than others and for those specific industries, certain influencers can demand and successfully earn more money for their posts, for example models and fitness are the top two highest reached.

Organisations really have to understand what influencers would be the right for for their brand, and ensure that the level of engagement is worth the amount invested into these influencers. There is companies now that put the right influencer in touch with a brand (what is the world coming to).

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Maximillian Matthews wrote an interesting article about matching the right influencers to the right brands, and the kinds of content that yield real-life influence (consumer or otherwise). His article is a great reminder to sense-check the use of influencer against the objections of a social media strategy and question if they really they do help sell products.

Sure the infamous Steph Claire Smith may get 1000s of thousands of likes, but brands must question whether their target audience are responding to these posts, or is it just 1000s of creepy men double clicking a like?


*Week 7


Visit site, bookmark. Visit site, bookmark. Visit site, bookmark. *My knee jerk reaction to the topic of innovative journalism.


I’m that naïve Advertising and PR student that does not have her eye on the ball and instead is what communications specialists would refer to as ‘mainstream’ and definitely not ‘in the know’.

It is slightly embarrassing to admit but I’d honestly never been on the websites techcrunch or mashable, am I committing commutations suicide or can I still salvage my career?


These sites and others alike are vital sources of information, especially for journalists, PR and media specialists, informing and educating on new technology and innovations.

While not all articles would be relevant to me, there are articles, such as the evaluation of the online shopping tool on Facebook that could help me in the PR world when figuring out strategies for specific campaigns. Since reading the article it just confirms how this platform is still unused and at the moment, not regarded as a vital platform to utilise for clients to promote their consumer products.

‘In industrial economies, innovation is key’.  Nordfors (2004) article discusses how innovation within society depends solely on the interaction and shared knowledge between different professions, hence the need for ‘innovation journalism’. Their combined efforts to release new information help contribute to greater productivity and growth. Journalists might not be able to understand all aspects of the information provided by the legal or business industry, but the media can set the agenda and can make it relevant to that particular target audience that should be informed.

If I take anything from this class, it is that I now have my head out of the sand and can be a greater contributor to my organisation by providing innovative information and knowledge that makes me the one that is ‘in the know’.