Does Open Data Need Journalism?

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Open Data has been touted as the “next big thing” for almost a decade.

This report by Jonathan Stoneman from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism looks at the possible role of journalists in the analysis of data. At one end of the spectrum there is the idea that “if journalists don’t examine published data, nobody will”. At the other end is the disintermediated world in which complete openness means there is no role for journalists (the same argument which was made as Social Media and citizen journalism arose to – potentially – supplant the mainstream or legacy media; “people will find out what they need to know without any intervention from the media”.

The study examines what has been happening in three countries – the USA, the United Kingdom, and Kenya. Each case shows the impact of Open Data at a different stage of development, with its own set of clues as to what the next steps might be.

In Kenya, Internews’ data journalism project is cited.

Download the report.