Friday, January 31, 2014

Chapter in the Brazilian Data Journalism Handbook

The open source Data Journalism Handbook has just been released in Brazil. I was asked to write a chapter about the current situation of evidence-driven journalism there. I ended up with an opinionated media criticism piece.

In case you don't understand Portuguese, you may want to run the chapter through Google Translate. The main point that I make is that data journalism and visualization won't grow roots in the country until...

 ...Journalists and news designers take statistics, science, and research methods seriously.

 ...Media organizations accept that data, visualization, and news applications are not mere accessories, luxuries, or decoration. They are part of the core of what journalism should be nowadays.

3) ...Journalism schools go through a period of deep and radical curricular change.

4) ...Unions and politicians stop their foolish efforts to make having a BA in Journalism mandatory to become a journalist (yes, you read that right.) Doing so will strengthen the existing caste system within newsrooms: Reporters and editors on top, designers, programmers, photographers, etc., at the bottom. I cannot write enough about how stupid this is.

1, 2, and 3 apply to many other countries, by the way.