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Journalism must keep pace with open data movement, warns City academic

Tom Felle is launching a new book, Data Journalism: Inside the global future


Journalists who want to inDJ Covervestigate future Volkswagen-type scandals must be data literate or face obscurity, according to City University London journalism academic Tom Felle.

The Lecturer, co-editor of a new book examining global data journalism trends, believes that data journalism is now the in-demand skillset for anyone who wants to work as an investigative reporter.

Newsrooms without data journalists will not be able to function, he cautioned. But skills training and access to datasets remains problematic, and while commitments by national governments to open data are laudable, the reality is many data publication schemes are not up to date.

He said: “As more and more data is published in digital form, the news media needs to invest in digital re-training of its staff. Stories that cannot be found by any other means are now being found in data.

“It’s a new frontier for many newsrooms, but not without its own teething pains. Chief among them is access to datasets. The pan-national Open Government Partnership commits the UK and other international governments to publishing data, but many are lagging well behind.”

City University London will host a free public panel debate on global issues impacting on data journalism on Wednesday 4th November. The event takes place in the Department of Journalism at 6.30pm.

Click here to register for the event

Tom Felle is a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism at City University London and the co-editor of Data Journalism: Inside the global future (with former BBC journalist and academic John Mair and Damian Radcliffe, Carolyn S Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon.

Contributors include: Simon Rogers, Data Editor at Google; Nick Phipps, an editor at Sky News; Helena Bengtsson, Editor, Data Projects at the Guardian; Megan Lucero, Data Journalism Editor at The Times and The Sunday Times; and Steve Doig, Knight Chair in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University.

The book features 30 chapters from journalists, developers and academics on both sides of the Atlantic and further afield. It is published by Abramis UK, priced £19.95.

This book launch on Wednesday 4th November is co-hosted by City University London and The Media Society.

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