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Responsible Data-Driven Journalism

2010 March 1

Thanks to Jeremy Anglim’s Blog, I have discovered a section of the UK’s The Guardian that I did not know existed:  DataBlog.

It’s practically the scientist’s news wet dream.  DataBlog collects raw data, analyzes it, and gives summary information and an interpretation.  Already, it is miles ahead of most news outlets, many of which simply collect an interview or two and spin a story for there.

But DataBlog takes it a step further – they provide a copy of the raw data tables that they used to create their story.  Amazing, right?  As a reader, you can then take it upon yourself to reanalyze the data and come to your own conclusions, whatever the outcome might be.  You could contradict them or support them; both are encouraged.  If you think they faked their data, it’s right there for you to verify.  It reminds me of the editorial standards in Science.

If there’s a picture of more responsible journalism, I’ve never seen it.  Now the only question that remains – where’s the American equivalent?

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