India’s Media — Missing the Data Journalism Revolution?

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Meera

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Aug 10, 2014, 1:28:08 PM8/10/14
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What do you folks think?

-Meera
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India’s Media — Missing the Data Journalism Revolution?

How can media make sense of a country that has over 1.2 billion people (about 17 percent of the global population), close to 800 languages, an electorate of 814 million, and the largest urban agglomeration in the world?

How does one plan for a country where, at the end of 2012, about 22 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line (with a daily spending of less than about US45 cents in rural India and US55 cents in urban India), but which also has 89 billionaires and features fifth in the Global Rich List? The country's latest Census in 2011 was taken with the help of 2.3 million enumerators travelling to more than 630,000 villages and more than 5000 cities. Census officials counted the thousands of homeless scouring footpaths and railway stations, while managing to include even the lone surviving Pakistani terrorist behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

http://gijn.org/2014/07/21/indias-media-missing-the-data-journalism-revolution/

Nisha Thompson

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Aug 11, 2014, 3:01:17 AM8/11/14
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i think this title is weird...

what revolution are we talking about? while you get solid investigative and data reporting in the west the funding is disappearing rapidly and the reporters doing this work are being squeezed.  Real local reporting is almost non existent... most of the US is also missing out on this amazing revolution as well...So don't feel so left out!

The article I find to be pretty interesting.  I agree more data that is actionable, can be used it is a necessity to help build capacity and skills in news rooms.  Also just pushing for data journalism is a short sighted ask.  Investigative journalism needs to be pushed also.  

I think there is plenty of interest in getting facts and moving the media coverage in that direction.  Whether we can pull together and make it a realty is another question.  


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Mohit Arora

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Aug 11, 2014, 3:33:07 AM8/11/14
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I think the context here is being taken in wrong sense. No one can deny the role of investigative journalism but at the same time its equally important to have data backed journalism. In fact, data journalism can actually complement investigative journalism.

So on this note, I would largely agree with the article. I have a few friends in media and have been talking to few journalists personally. There is so much focus and pressure on the journalists for "breaking stories" that they patience, time and effort required for data journalism is  just not there. Add to that the fact that most of the journalists are not skilled enough to extract the required data from various sources in an efficient manner. I am not sure, but I have heard that some workshops are planned across the country to make them aware of some basic scripting (and other required) knowledge so that they can extract basic data themselves, I don't think there is an industry-wide push in that direction.

Thanks,
Mohit Arora  

Nisha Thompson

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Aug 11, 2014, 10:58:36 PM8/11/14
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I also agree.  But my point is along the lines that yes there is good investigative journalism and data journalism in some places.  But the Guardian and NYT with their large data crunching capacity are the exceptions and the NYT is going bankrupt. I also am weary of waiting around to see how sites like ProPublica and others find ways to become sustainable financially. The pressures and lack of capacity are in newsrooms all over the world including the west. 

India is the rule not the exception.

This is not just a problem with Indian journalists and that means there is a great opportunity to experiment and find new ways to work with them and others to find different ways of promoting investigative and data journalism.  

Mohit Arora

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Aug 12, 2014, 5:11:39 AM8/12/14
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Here is one Indian website I recently bumped into which I think is trying this out. I am not sure if they are making money at this stage, but I feel its a step in right direction :

Also I came to know that The Hindu has recently made substantial investments to have data-backed stories and this url could be an output of the same:


Thanks,
Mohit Arora


rajesh

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Aug 13, 2014, 3:22:55 AM8/13/14
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Sorry, but what is the standard by which we are measuring? Which country can claim to have good (meaning fair (not the 'fair and lovely' kind of fair), unbiased) media, good journalism who use data and facts?

This recent article by Blum states that the best news may be coming from Russia:
http://zcomm.org/zcommentary/cold-war-two/

All thru the election and post it, i have seen very little media coverage that does not resemble someones paid service.

-Rajesh
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