A data journalist’s new year’s resolutions

To celebrate the new year, we’ve gathered experts from all over the world to put together a list of resolutions for 2018; things we, as data journalists, should stop or start doing, things we should create, technologies we should try.

Marianne Bouchart
Feb 1, 2018 · 9 min read
From top left, clockwise: Saleem Khan (JOVRNALISM and INVSTG8.net, Canada), Yuichi Yazaki (Visualizing.jp, Japan), Pinar Dag (Dag Media, Turkey), Alli Torban (State of Place, US), Marie-Louise Timcke (Journocode, Germany), Samantha Berkhead (IJnet, US), Ashley Kirk (The Telegraph, UK), Alla Rybina (Gothenburg University, Sweden), Simon Rogers (Google, US), Gian-Paolo Accardo (EDJN and VoxEurop, Belgium), Concha Catalan (ihr.world, Spain), Walid Al-Saqaf (Södertörn University, Sweden).

12 international experts pitch in

What data journalists should start doing

Produce more data visualisations

My data journalism new years resolution is to have R scripts do more of the work for me — in terms of both analysing data and producing visualisations. We are getting there with my team at The Telegraph with this, but the problem is that we are stuck in the news cycle, and so it’s hard to separate yourself from the daily cycle to forward-plan for future stories.” Ashley Kirk (The Telegraph, UK)

ICFJ Knight Fellowships Tools and Projects

Use data in everyday journalism

“We need greater commitment and support from news organizations for data journalism as newsrooms continue to face cutbacks and restructuring. Unfortunately, these journalists are sometimes seen as a greater personnel expense or less productive than their peers since their work can sometimes take longer to produce than a traditionally reported story. However, their skills are increasingly essential.” Saleem Khan (JOVRNALISM and INVSTG8.net, Canada)

Using emerging technologies

“I think data journalists should update their data skills to deal with the next wave of database technologies namely blockchain. I predict that they may well replace many centralized database systems. Blockchain preserves data permanently and prevent any manipulation or fraud. That means that if governmental data is there it can’t be removed or changed once it is published. Additionally, data journalists that are able to deal with data on blockchain can have an edge when doing investigative stories on ransomware payments or other transactions. A resolution to learn about blockchain and how to access their data can be a good start. Walid Al-Saqaf (Södertörn University, Sweden)

Create more cross-border collaborations

“Data journalists should do more collaborations at a smaller scale. Everything doesn’t need to be a Panama Papers or Paradise Papers project. I would argue that we can potentially have greater impact with many more small collaborations.” Saleem Khan (JOVRNALISM and INVSTG8.net, Canada)

The Den will feature five sections: News, Community, Matchmaking, Datastore and Jobs.

Make our work more transparent

“I’d like data journalists to place a bigger emphasis on transparency in their reporting. Readers trust the news when they can see how the journalists found their information and reported their story.” Samantha Berkhead (IJnet, US)

Start using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“In 2018, data journalists should start preparing for the inevitable rise of AI technologies and learn to use that trend to their advantage so their jobs aren’t eclipsed by it.” Samantha Berkhead (IJnet, US)

What data journalists should stop doing

What do you wish for in 2018?

- more accessible, open and usable data
- more collaborations and investigations holding the powerful accountable
- safer conditions for journalists worldwide to use data in their work
- more exciting projects for everyone

2018 resolutions for newbies — Where to begin when learning data journalism?

Data Journalism Awards

The Data Journalism Awards are the first international…

Data Journalism Awards

The Data Journalism Awards are the first international awards recognising outstanding work in the field of data journalism worldwide. The 2019 edition is launched and data journalism teams from around the world can now apply.

Marianne Bouchart

Written by

Founder @HeiDaHQ + @Data_Blog. Manager of the @sigmaawards. Former Bloomberg @business #ddj. Data Journalism Lecturer

Data Journalism Awards

The Data Journalism Awards are the first international awards recognising outstanding work in the field of data journalism worldwide. The 2019 edition is launched and data journalism teams from around the world can now apply.