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.



The Time of Digital Media dives to Audience Fragmentation?

Due to the rapid growth of the Internet and other digital media, the life pattern of people changed dramatically. However, there are some problems due to the development of the digital media, people are able to found the same channel or program or information even they come from different parts of the world but some media of TV or internet becomes less useful for them compare to the local ones they indeed need. In this circumstance, audience fragmentation is generated.


Audience fragmentation can be found in any aspect, from TV to the internet. For example, Chinese New Year Gala, one of the most important TV show, attracts more than 80% of the people to watch it. However, this program can also be watched by other country’s customer, but the things may change as they have no idea about the Chinese language, Chinese culture and so on. The same thing happens to online shopping or advertisement when Asian food was popular sold in Asian countries, those other countries have much less demand for those products and less advertisement demand. Therefore, when the audience actually found the media but less information is needed as they are not useful nor interesting. This kind of situation will lead the audience to audience fragmentation.

The paper by James G. W et al gave a third approach by tracking TV and internet usage to understand where the audience fragmentation happened. However, the result shows that audience fragmentation has already become a serious problem in the digital media. Therefore, I think the media should be focused on the once that be concerned by local people more to reduce this audience fragmentation situation.

News Video; The Most Effective Form of News in Social Media?


As we all know, the traditional news media in the form of newspapers and magazines have begun to decline. This decline is not only affected by the rise of the internet but especially the rise of social media. Nowadays, we are constantly wired to our social media via our gadgets, especially smartphones. In Australia alone, the number of smartphone users in 2017 is estimated to reach 16.6 million, while the worldwide number is estimated to exceed 2 billion users.

Surely, smartphones and social media have changed the way we produce and consume news. However, one form of news in social media has certainly picked up more pace compared to a news article: video.

In a study conducted by Steensen (2011), he found that there are three assets that have the greatest impact on online journalism, namely: hypertext, interactivity, and multimedia. But according to him, multimedia, including video, was “the least developed of the assets offered to journalism by internet technology”.

Now, that study was conducted six years ago. Fast forward to 2017, videos have become the king of online journalism, especially in social media.

News videos such as the ones from AJ+, an online news channel run by Al Jazeera Media Network, are amongst the most popular and the most shared and/or retweeted by social media users. This is a stark contrast to some news that are relatively heavy in text.


News on President Trump’s meeting with Chancellor Merkel, which generates thousands of reactions and shares

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compared to this report on Trump’s presidency, which only generates hundreds of reactions and shares

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It needs to be stated that these two posts from AJ+ were posted around the same time.

Is social media news video the future of journalism? Who knows, but it surely has changed the way we produce and consume news now.

Do you regularly consume news via social media video? If you do, then what are your thoughts?