Global survey finds data driven journalism improves quality of journalistic work

The first-ever Global Data Journalism Survey has found that data driven journalism allows journalists to create more stories, which are of higher quality.

Summary findings from the survey released last week at the European Data and Computational Journalism Conference in Dublin, Ireland, show that 90% of data journalists believe that data driven journalism adds rigour to their work. Additionally, 91% of respondents said data journalism improves the quality of journalistic work in their organisation.

The survey carried out by Mirko Lorenz, co-founder of DataWrapper and Bahareh R. Hevari of the School of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin, sought to understand the current state of data driven journalism in order to provide practical and theoretical guidelines for the field. 206 participants from 43 countries participated in the survey.

The survey found that:

  • Most data driven content is produced for online platforms. At least 77% of respondents said they produce content for their print or broadcast online platforms, personal blogs and news agencies.
  • 70% of participants said they would not be able to carry out their work without data as a source.
  • 96% of the respondents had a university level education, with more than half of these having a postgraduate degree. This indicates that the data journalism community is highly educated.
  • Most data journalists have a formal education in communication and journalism. A significantly smaller number have university level education in data and computer related disciplines.
  • The majority of respondents engaged in data driven journalism are relatively young in the profession with less than 10 years’ experience in journalism.

The study also found that data journalism is rapidly becoming an integral part of many newsrooms across the world. Just under half of the respondents said their organisations have a dedicated data desk. The majority of respondents whose organisations do not have data desks run small data teams of between one to five people.

A full, detailed analysis of the Global Data Journalism Survey results will be released in the future.

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