Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Seminar 4 Position Statement: Paul Bradshaw, Birmingham City

Mediating Transparency through Data Journalism and Data Visualisation
Associate Prof., Birmingham City Univ.

Data journalism and data visualisation are essential techniques in mediating transparency initiatives. Data visualisation and interactivity has proven to be a particularly successful way to bring previously dry topics to a much wider audience, while data journalism allows journalists to make transparency data intelligible to the wider public in the first place. However, with both there is the danger of data ‘churnalism’ and misrepresentation. Transparency initiatives themselves are a form of power which needs to be held to account: the selection and collection of data is itself an exercise of power. And data visualisation can give information a patina of credibility which the underlying data does not always possess. Journalists not only need to be more able to interpret and communicate data – they need to be more critical in interpreting the same work when done by others.

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