Reconsideration About Data Journalism in an Era of New Media
The appearance and development of data journalism has gradually changed the structure and pattern of news outlets in media. It follows a series question about the origins of data journalism and, considering its success in the media market, the reasons behind its upgrade to the current status. Moreover, concerns also rise about the potential difficulties linked to the use of data journalism. This article attempts to give a deep dive and detailed analysis to these questions.
I.Essence and evolution of data journalism
Data journalism, known as data-driven journalism, is a interdisciplinary way of news production developed in the age of big data. It is a new-type of data production based on data capturing, data mining, data analysis and data visualization.
Data journalism derives from precision journalism, which refers to a situation reported by journalists who will use a variety of social science research methods (Investigation, experiments, content analysis, etc.) to gather information and verify the facts, so as to ultimately generate a piece of news report.
The strong presence of data journalism nowadays results from the development and transition of precision journalism on the Internet. The former tradition holds that the database and data processing were extensively limited. Therefore, although “Precision journalism” has been added to the list of news report categories, it never became prominent among all the news types. With the sudden upheaval of the Internet era, a series of factors emerged and hampered the way precision journalism had been managed up to that point, binding it in a corner.
II.Cause analysis for data journalism’s boom
Firstly, the “real -time” characteristic of modern media channels has greatly affected the professional media and thus drives them to turn to a different direction for news reports. Under the background of big data, professional media players started to lay weight on “data journalism”, and expect to relocate their position and maintain their dominance in the online news field, supported by professional methods and up-to-date tracking.
Secondly, its success has a close relation with the change of TA’s positon and their demand of data. It’s all about audience-oriented in a successful news media operation, hence it should be a priority to understand your audience; this can be realized by means of uncovering customers’ preference and habits based on quantity data. Since meeting the needs of the audience is definitely a priority, it is suggested to advance and develop the way news are created, so that to assure more opportunities for the foreseeable future.
III.Reflections on the potential problems of data journalism
The outlook of data journalism seems to be very promising, but potential problems indeed exist. The below viewpoints are interpreted from two perspectives:
(I)The contradiction between data journalism and “warm” journalism
Generally speaking, data journalism is to process vast amount of materials in an orderly and concise way, based on key words and combination of them. The key value of data journalism is, therefore, to provide the reader with valuable, concise and update information in a very short period of time.
However, one thing needs our priority, namely the concept of “people-oriented”, that is the production of information to serve people, which must not be confined in the second place. In order to accomplish this function, data journalism should still keep in full consideration its care and attention towards its audience.
(II)The contradiction between data journalism and privacy
Since data is pivotal to data journalism, here comes the question, where does it come from? Are data collection and application complying with laws and regulations? Especially for personal information, such as preference, working condition, life status, etc. Is there a risk of privacy invasion when developers make use of the data? All these concerns may represent an obstacle for the successful development of data journalism. It is therefore essential to shed light on the methods used by this kind of journalism in order to confirm its accuracy in the eyes of the public.
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