Big Data as a differentiating sociocultural element of data journalism: the perception of data journalists and experts

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Universidad de Navarra: Facultad de Comunicación
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The use of methods of the social sciences and computational tools to analyze databases in journalism has had several definitions since Philip Meyer called it precision journalism (PJ). In the last decade, this specialty has had an important development under the term data journalism (DJ), in a differentiating technological and sociocultural environment: Big Data. This research aims to differentiate DJ from PJ and computer assisted reporting (CAR) with a perspective taken from the science and technology studies, focusing the news as a boundary object between programmers, designers, journalists and other actors that now are part of the news production process. For this purpose, 14 in-depth interviews have been made from 2015 to 2017 to data journalists from Spain (8), EEUU (1) and Finland (1); PP, PD and transparency academic experts from Spain (1) and Finland (2); and one expert in transparency acts y access to public information in Spain, Europe and Latin American. As a result, it can be affirmed that big data is differentiating element of DJ because it is a sociocultural context where the open data philosophy, free software, collaborative and team work are part of its identity.
Data Journalism, Big Data, Transparency, Open Data, Visualization, Precision Journalism, Computer Assisted Reporting, Computational Journalism, News, Organizations, Collaboration, Online, Press
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Communication & Society. Vol. 31, n. 4 (2018), pp. 193-209