This Week: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Data-focused journalism and reporting election errors.
Some of the main arguments for open data are that increased transparency improves accountability by allowing for public oversight, and that people will be able to use data and information for analysis, tools and decision-making. An example that is making the rounds involves a group of Danish data activists that dove into European Parliament election results data and in analyzing an outlier, inadvertently found an error in election results.
Courtesy image: Open Knowledge Denmark
This also begs the question, why didn’t the government itself catch this error? While I can’t speak definitively, it seems that there is plenty of room for growth within our institutions globally for better data analysis and use. In some ways, this growth and change is already happening. Since 2012, the US Energy Department and General Services Administration have been teaming up to host an annual Energy Datapalooza, which focuses on using data and innovation to promote clean energy.
It goes without saying that journalists are a natural user of data for reporting, storytelling, and fact-finding. On Friday, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism held an event on Quantifying Journalism: Data, Metrics, and Computation. If you missed all the #towtalk, the event was live blogged here and can be watched here. The Tow Center also released three research papers that each took an interesting look at different methods of data use in journalism, including user-generated content, sensor data, and a narrative on data-driven journalism.
If you’re looking for some good examples of data journalists, Center for Data Innovation recognized 15 journalists who focus mainly on data. Who are your favorite data journalists?
Taryn Davis is an Associate at Development Gateway. Email her your tips to get a shout-out in next week's post.