Finding Data

When it comes to journalism, data is really important because it helps build stories.

So, what is data?

Data is facts and statistics. According to http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/data.html, data is ‘information in raw of unorganized from (such as alphabets, numbers, or symbols) that refer to, or represent, conditions, ideas, or objects’.

There are two main types of data that are called qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative data is descriptive information and quantitative data is numerical information.

What is data journalism?

According to http://datajournalismhandbook.org/1.0/en/introduction_1.html, it’s a ‘journalism specialty reflecting the increased role that numerical data is used in the production and distribution of information in the digital era’.

‘Data journalism is so important. Gathering, filtering and visualizing what is happening beyond what the eye can see’.

Sources of Data

Data can be found everywhere. Below are the main sources I can think of off the top of my head:

  • survey results
  • newspapers
  • books
  • magazines
  • internet – data websites from organisations. i.e. data.gov
  • social media
  • posters/flyers
  • leaflets
  • annuals
  • information graphics

To me, data and news stories belong together. I believe that without data you cannot find a story, and if you already have a news story, it’s likely you will need find data to support it.

 

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