Data Journalism - A trend that is changing the 21st-century newsrooms

Do you know the exact amount of data that is generated on a daily basis? The number might just blow your mind!

Every day, roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is generated ie. 2.5 million terabytes of data. And 90% of the total data has come into existence only in the last three years.

With humongous amount of data all over the internet, getting the most viable content out to the consumers is a tough task!

And this is where we know, the most information-driven field, journalism is under a siege!

What is data journalism

Simply put, journalism done with data is known as data journalism. However, the factor which makes data journalism different from the rest of journalism is that it enables new possibilities to combine traditional ‘knack for news’ to present a compelling story, with respect to the huge digital information available.

Data journalism can be done using multiple tools from programming to utilizing software only to automate the process of gathering and combing data. With data journalism, journalists can present their information in the form of infographics, charts and graphs.

Why its existence in the first place?

A decade ago, journalism was all about multiplying and distributing news that happened overnight. The printing press, televisions and radios served as a gateway for the news to reach people. But today, stories are being generated every second, from multiple resources, eyewitnesses, blogs and social media. Some are commented on while the others are ignored.

This is why data journalism is important. To show what is happening beyond a certain situation and grow its value. Gathering, filtering and visualizing data is what makes a newsroom more effective and the news viable. It brings in the slightest of the information to light which might have been considered irrelevant, thus making the insight massively important.

Data analysis can help in forecasting the next financial crisis, the economics behind the products we use, the political blunders or the unemployment causes based on age, gender, education.

The adaptation of data journalism by newsrooms

A comprehensive study by Google News Lab and PolicyViz, showed that 42 percent of respondents used data regularly to portray their stories, and 51 percentage of news organizations had a dedicated data journalist staff. The data found that respondents, editors, designers, journalists, all are highly motivated to use data for reporting a situation. Because in this era of post-truth, data is the only one good way of building trust with your readers or viewers, thus, making the newsrooms desperate to find facts.

See infographic.

Why is data journalism an important factor to consider?

Filtering the flow of data

Earlier when information was scarce, most of the efforts were mainly put into hunting and gathering news. But now with the abundance of data, processing has become more important. Processing the data helps to bring in sense and structure to the information and also gives a particular presentation to the entire story.

Making new approaches to storytelling

Data journalism is enhancing the process of storytelling. With data, comes in the various tools and techniques that are used to give shape to the information. This might include anything from the computer reporting to visualization and news application. With the use of such tools, the process of sending out data to the consumers have changed, thus fore-sighting the future.

A futuristic data-driven PR

The availability of measurement tools at affordable prices can help newsrooms come up with new possible metrics. These metrics can help change the outcomes of data and find future solutions to the rising problems. Fluency with data will help journalists sharpen their critical thinking sense and make better exchanges with the PR department.

And, what are the challenges?

The main challenge is that most journalists are not yet well equipped with data skills. This gives rise to the second challenge which is resource and finance. The bigger newsrooms with journalists, not well equipped with data analyzing skills have to hire data analysts to perform the task. As a result two separate teams form, one of the journalists and the other of the data analysts. And considering the fact that these are big newsrooms, the communication between the two parties remains incomplete, thus, giving rise to news which might be half researched.

Want to learn more about data journalism?

Watch Bahareh Heravi, Co-founder and Former Data Scientist at Irish Times, speak at the TEDx talk on ‘How data journalism is changing the newsrooms’.

How can Quintype help in this era of data journalism?

Quintype is a leading data-driven digital publishing platform. We help you break news online first and provide various tools for presenting your data driven stories, such as bar graphs, histograms, polls, etc.

To know more about us, get in touch at