Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited in various circles with creating the world wide web, commented Friday that he believes the future of journalism will be mostly data analysis.
Journalists need to be data-savvy. It used to be that you would get stories by chatting to people in bars, and it still might be that you’ll do it that way some times.
But now it’s also going to be about poring over data and equipping yourself with the tools to analyse it and picking out what’s interesting. And keeping it in perspective, helping people out by really seeing where it all fits together, and what’s going on in the country.
If the recent WikiLeaks debacle has taught us anything, it’s that the Internet will continue to play its role as a large data repository and it will be the job of the media to analyze these stores of information, comment on them, and spin stories out of them.
City University of London recently launched an MA program in “interactive journalism” which will teach skills in “data journalism”: analyzing and visualizing data in order to draw coherent conclusions from it.
The free and easy access to massive amounts of information that people now have is changing the way that we report on it, and thus the face of journalism on and off-line.