Data Driven Journalism and Digitizing Your Life

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Organization for one’s work is a big key to success. Some people work the best with things all over the place, but when it comes to finding things it is a hassle. Finding files and important information in an organized manner with folders and dedications to specific locations makes it more convenient. You can never go wrong making something easier for yourself.

News organizations has adapted to a digitized life and organized its content and resources. The Spokesman-Review began organizing email addresses in 2001. They had a database of emails that allowed them to consolidate News organizations have adapted to this type of activity and has named it the reader network. They used it to distribute reporting material to their readers. It was a very valuable solution to journalists. It allowed them to distribute to a targeted audience as well.

Readers love data and numbers. People are curious to look up numbers after a story if it is considered “data driven”. Say a sports reporter provides current stats for a certain NBA player in an article. Someone may read it and go look for past stats, or maybe that player’s stats for their career. It would make sense for the company to just provide that information in a spreadsheet for the reader via screenshot image included in the article. This will keep readers on your site longer and provides extra traffic for someone using your site to see that one image. This brands your news network also as a data destination. The information becomes very valuable for the audiences because it is provided in a searchable database format.

Map mashups are very interesting as well. It allows you to create organization with physical location data, such as addresses or position on a map. Paul Rademacher merged apartments that were listed on Craigslist with Google Maps to create a help guide that helped him find a new place to live. Map mashups have the ability to tell stories also. They can help the community be aware of dangerous areas that have resulted in the most killings for a county. Journalism and a combination of organized data are very informative for readers and it allows journalists to tell stories from different angles.

 

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Crowd Powered Collaboration

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Image via Rob Cottingham/Noise To Signal

Journalism as a whole has changed tremendously. The traditional journalists working for a news organization is not your only type of journalists in today’s society. What is a journalist? This broad question can be answered with many different answers due to the simple fact that anyone can be a journalist now days. With the digital content and the help of the Internet journalism has turned into a powerful collaborative effort.

As journalism becomes a saturated market it is becoming tougher and tougher for journalists to do all of the work themselves. Engaging communities and individuals over the Internet is what makes blogs, journalists, and reporters more intriguing. With the help of the community, journalists can write stories from angles they could not have saw without the help of the people who relayed the information to the reporter. John Cook, co-founder of GeekWire and a former newspaper reporter said, “I am a big believer that my readers are much smarter then me and have a better grasp of what’s going on, so why not leverage that wisdom to do a better job of reporting?”

There are three different methods that news organizations are using to involve their readers in their reports: crowdsourcing, open-source reporting, and pro-am journalism. Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people from an online community. Open-source reporting uses transparency to in reporting in order to provide a benefit to your audience and possibly gain benefits from your readers. Pro-am journalism is the most uncontrolled collaborative method. This approach puts the reader in the position of the reporter. It allows the contributors to publish directly to the same platform, or Web site, that the professional journalists use to curate their news. This is known as user generated content. Crowd-powered collaboration is much more effective and interesting. Journalisms “professional” outlook is becoming less professional, but also more engaging as the digital world grows.