Data journalism: empowering or overpowering?

With the open and interactive nature of online networks, what does it mean for the content producers of today to able to catch the shorter audience attention span in a busy and information-filled environment nowadays. Data journalism has come into play where professionals and academics alike take to this nature of a fun and light approach in engaging audience with topics of debate. The playful nature of this approach is generally meant to produce legible and engaging stories that are easily digestible for audiences.

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To an extent, data journalism is very ‘assistance-heavy’ as it relies heavily on procuring material for publishing from technological databases and crowdsourcing open audience information. The data journalism notion of ‘outsourcing’ material and packaging it to fit trending material brings about question of credibility and intentions. The lean towards quantitative rather than qualitative essence in data journalism causes concern whether standards of news/content delivery is dropping and in turn, putting audience enlightenment in decline. The aim for topical trends also questions the intent for virality rather than informational, as news is supposed to be.

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Similar to online networks in the media, data journalism is but a tool and not to be confused as the media field in itself. And as with any sort of tool, there should be a healthy dose of skepticism. In this case of data journalism and what was discussed about its goals and standards, risk looms as with any kind of content production, it has to ability to potentially shape and/or restrict readers’ minds and perspective. Being in the dangerous business of power and control always comes with responsibility as consequences, as we all know too well of…..

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