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26-29 May 2015
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Research-in-Progress Paper

Fürstenberghaus -
02 - Big Data

Data Journalism in News Media Firms. The Role of Information Technology to Master Challenges and Embrace Opportunities of Data-driven Journalism Projects


Primary authors



Data journalism includes three dimensions and requires three different types of journalism skills: computer assisted reporting, news applications development and data visualization. Computer assisted reporting represents an expertise in obtaining, analyzing and finding newsworthy angles in data. News reporters with this skill are able to discover interesting and relevant findings by analyzing data with the help of information technology tools. However, only news application developers know back-end programming, database configuration and build interfaces to applications, and data visualization specialists can ensure user-friendly interactivity of today’s graphics. News organizations willing to engage in data journalism thus depend on collaboration between people belonging to very different professional cultures. Limits to collaboration work in this sense are resistance to change, lack of common language, different logics of communication, lack of measures to address these issues. Within this context the role of IT assumes a critical importance. Information technology needs to develop simple and dedicated tools that improve and facilitate not only data access, processing and visualization, but also a common language and knowledge exchange between developers, graphic designers and journalists so that data projects can been easily and more quickly processed and managed. This paper conceptually develops this idea.