Nieman | News organizations must become hubs of trusted data … ::journalist training a must::


What we hear over and over in training sessions is that journalists are very interested in data, but worried that the necessary skills in programming, math, visualization, and Internet publishing are beyond their reach.

The image of a journalist versed in everything from video to text to investigation to computer science is a scary one, indeed. But it’s not the only way forward. Instead, tomorrow’s journalists will remain experts is what they’ve done since the 17th century and the advent of the Gazettes: Collect facts, vet them, and write about them.

The difference is that fact collection will be organized rather than done by journalists. When a thousand users, brought together in a crowdsourcing operation, gather thousands of data points, isn’t it journalism? In the future, many journalists will resemble project managers, aggregating resources around platforms like Ushahidi rather than dashing adventurers embodied by fictional reporters from Tintin to Mikael Blomkvist.

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