The Art and Science of Data-Driven Journalism

National and International Data Journalism Awards

If you look around at the best data journalism in the world, you’ll see a spectrum of achievement and sophistication. On one side, you’ll find a lot of maps and data visualizations. These interactives may be the work of a few hours or a day. On the other side of the coin, you’ll discover complex, multi-year investigations of education, health care, environment, crime, and government institutions. The limits of both ends of the spectrum are important, with respect to the resources and time required. These efforts are being furthered by the efforts of many news organizations, including the Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, the Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, USA Today, NPR, the Guardian, and the Chicago Tribune. “It’s great to see journalists bravely jumping into complicated data sets, like hospital billing and Medicare,109stories,”110academic advisor for the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting.For example, he pointed to “Million-dollar Hospital Bills in Northern California” from The Sacramento Bee,111``Patient Safety at a Dallas Hospital from The Dallas Morning News,112Angeles Times,113Atlanta Journal-Constitution,114Flights Mostly for Routine Transport” from the Argus Leader115work in recent years.“I’m really proud of the elections work at the Times,116said Derek Willis, who works at The Upshot. “A project called “Toxic Waters”117to work on too. But my favorite might be the first one: the “Congressional Votes Database” that Adrian Holovaty, Alyson Hurt, and I created at the Washington Post in late 2005.118milestone for me and for the Post, and helped set the bar for what news organizations could do with data on the Web.”There are an expanding number of notable data-driven journalism projects and sites around the world. The Philip Meyer Awards119find the best of each year’s work, as are the Global Editors Network Data Journalism Awards.120following examples are chosen because they exemplify notable qualities in the evolving practice of data journalism.