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12th February 2014, 11:33am
Where reporting meets programming – new book explores rise of data journalism
New book explores rise of data journalism The rise of data journalism in newsrooms across the UK is the focus of a new book by a leading journalism scholar at the University of Lincoln.

With vast amounts of open data now freely available online the media are increasingly using statistics to source their stories and support their headlines.

Professor Richard Lance Keeble, from the Lincoln School of Journalism, has compiled one of the first scholarly publications to explore this emerging trend.

Data Journalism: Mapping the Future is a collection of essays from prominent academics and industry experts, who explore the rise of this developing journalistic process which involves filtering and analysing large data sets to produce insightful news stories.

Professor Keeble said: “The relatively novel notion of the journalist-coder, programmer-journalist or hacker-journalist is gaining ground as data journalism develops both at home and abroad. Programmers are entering newsroom, journalists are venturing further into programming, and there is some definite blurring where the two roles meet. Data journalism is certainly the big buzz story in the industry at the moment, yet so far very little has been written about the concept - this publication therefore fills a crucial gap.

“At the Lincoln School of Journalism we place a high priority on introducing students to data journalism techniques through our undergraduate programme in Investigative Journalism. Indeed, in the future, we must ask whether a journalist will be able to survive without these skills.”

Co-edited by Professor Keeble together with John Mair, Teodora Beleaga and Paul Bradshaw, the book includes contributions from a number of top data journalism practitioners and commentators.

These include Simon Rogers, Data Editor at Twitter in San Francisco, and Jonathan Hewett, Director of Interactive and Newspaper Journalism at City University London, who together explain precisely what data journalism involves.

Experts Paul Bradshaw, founder of the investigative journalism crowdsourcing site Help Me Investigate, Nicola Hughes, programmer-journalist at The Times, and Daniel Ionescu, Editor of The Lincolnite news website, also provide useful advice on developing appropriate data journalism skills, while Australian-based researcher Gabriel Keeble-Gagnère, discusses the importance of encryption or practising journalists – a prominent issue following recent revelations surrounding mass NSA surveillance.

Data Journalism: Mapping the Future (ISBN: 9781845496166) is published by Abramis, and was launched at a recent Media Society panel discussion, chaired by Raymond Snoddy, former media editor of The Times.

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