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Newsroom Data Analysis Increases: PEJ Study Discovers

Increased use of data analysis by newsrooms was one finding from the report, “The Changing Newsroom,” by the project for the excellence in journalism by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ). The results make interesting reading regarding the impact of the web on the state of journalism. Read the report, it is intriguing, depressing, and hopeful.

What most interested me was the section on the changing newsroom and the influence of the web. In light of my previous post about the changing nature of journalism I was particularly interested to read about the increasing use of data analysis by journalists.

This quote was good:

"Orlando Sentinel editor Charlotte Hall called the creation of a data team the “single most significant innovation” to come out of the paper’s 2007 reorganization in terms of generating new reporting skills for both the web and print versions of the paper. The team brought together everyone at the paper responsible for gathering data for listings, then melded them with library researchers and archivists, a reporter trained in computer-assisted reporting (CAR) plus an editor who had been a high-level database researcher. Their job, she said, is to mine data, then work with other teams across the paper to develop stories based on that data. Initial results have included front page enterprise stories on local restaurants and housing foreclosures."