A project of Democracy Fund
The Local News Lab has been archived as of March 1, 2023. This page will remain online but will not be updated. More info.

May 3, 2015

How Is Your Newsroom Using Data?

The Dallas Morning News is creating a central “rolodex” of data about the people they are reporting on (sources, politicians, and other contacts). Justin Ellis at Nieman Lab reports that while it is useful behind the scenes, it also can power public-facing news apps that help illustrate networks of influence and connections.

On Medium, Fergus Bell explores how the growing ubiquity of sensors will enable newsrooms to collect “user generated data” from our audiences. See for example WNYC’s sleep project (user’s could link their FitBit accounts to WNYC’s app) or their Bored and Brilliant project (users could opt-in to have their phones send usage data to WNYC).

I’m seeing more and more discussion about the human elements of data journalism, reminding us that there are often people behind the numbers. At Journalism.co.uk the Guardian’s data editor Alberto Nardelli argues, “Without humanity, data alone is meaningless.”

This is an excerpt from the Local Fix, our weekly newsletter on journalism sustainability and community engagement. Subscribe here.