In 2008, Nate Silver, a relatively unknown baseball statistician, correctly predicted every Senate race and all but one state in the presidential election. He accomplished this by neither physically reporting from the ground nor by using some esoteric technique of political science. Instead, he used basic statistics to analyze the large volume of polls available and predict an outcome. The message was clear: data-based electoral predictions appeared to be significantly more accurate than predictions based on traditional political science.
Since then, data journalism has become increasingly popular and has made analysis of elections and other issues more accurate and quantitative. However, it is wrought with difficulties. Most journalists are not trained statisticians and don’t know how to interpret accurately the probabilistic nature of data nor do they know how to deal with models with seemingly contradictory conclusions. More importantly, journalism is not yet fully aware of the latent limits of data-based reporting.
Most people around the world are pretty bad when it comes to knowing the numbers behind the news. But how issues such as immigration are perceived can shape political opinion and promote misconceptions
C’est un rêve de journaliste, mais aussi de citoyen, que j’ai fait cet après-midi, grâce à Journalism Tools – dont je ne saurais trop encourager à suivre les tweets et les épingles… Une bien belle histoire de données, de transparence et de travail collectif, un indirect mais éloquent plaidoyer en faveur du data journalisme comme je l’aime et l’imagine.
One of the great challenges in any discussion of what people consume is gauging the distribution. There is no “average American who plays videogames” or “eats sushi,” and therefore the aggregate consumption of sushi or hours spent playing videogames is of limited value; some do, some do a lot, some [...]
As seemingly healthy newborns struggle for life, doctors frantically try to figure out what’s wrong. Routine blood samples taken shortly after birth have the answers. But the samples haven’t been tested.
In the latest update to his e-text Searchlights and Sunglasses, author Eric Newton highlights important tools that help journalists mine public data. Here’s one way of introducing open data in the classroom.
En analysant une expérience de data-journalisme aux Etats-Unis, le chercheur français Sylvain Parasie met en lumière les biais, les insuffisances et ratés des données qui rendent plus que jamais indispensable le travail des journalistes sur le terrain.
This handbook is for all journalists who want to master the art of interrogating and questioning numbers competently. Being able to work with figures and investigate numbers is not a new form of journalism but a skill that all journalists can acquire.
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