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Sourcing practices in data journalism at The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica

Stanford, 12 March 2013

Liliana Bounegru

on 4 October 2016

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Transcript of Sourcing practices in data journalism at The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica

Sourcing Practices in Data Journalism
at The New York Times,
The Guardian and ProPublica

Liliana Bounegru
University of Amsterdam
European Journalism Centre
Geeks vs. pundits: The clash of two epistemological cultures
"Nate Silver says this is a 73.6 percent chance that the president is going to win? Nobody in that campaign thinks they have a 73 percent chance — they think they have a 50.1 percent chance of winning. And you talk to the Romney people, it’s the same thing. . . . Anybody that thinks that this race is anything but a toss-up right now is such an ideologue, they should be kept away from typewriters, computers, laptops and microphones for the next 10 days, because they're jokes." (Joe Scarborough, MSNBC, qtd. in Dylan Byers, 2012)
Why sourcing practices?
“Whose voices and viewpoints structure and inform news discourse goes to the heart of democratic views of, and radical concerns about, the news media.” (Simon Cottle, 2003)
Data portals as the driving factor
behind data journalism?
“Many of these valuable datasets are publicly available through government and civil society open data programs such as data.gov or data.gov.uk or sites like WikiLeaks and OpenLeaks.” (Flew et al., 2012)

“In 2012, making sense of big data through narrative and context, particularly unstructured data, will be a central goal for data scientists around the world, whether they work in newsrooms, Wall Street or Silicon Valley.” (Alex Howard, 2012)
1. Data portals do not play as significant a role
as popular and academic literature suggest
3. Original data production as a way
to respond to the absence of information
"If stage one of data journalism was “find and scrape data,” then stage two was “ask government agencies to release data” in easy to use formats. Stage three is going to be “make your own data,” and those sources of data are going to be automated and updated in real-time." (Javaun Moradi, 2011)
Thank you!
Liliana Bounegru



University of Amsterdam
2. Dependence on a limited number of data providers
may increase media access inequalities
Full transcript