The Data Daily

Data Driven Journalism

 Data Driven Journalism

Some benefits are unique to Datawrapper, because we are deeply rooted in the news industry. Many newsrooms already have custom layouts in Datawrapper. If a chart is shared via the River, it comes in the basic layout. But it will automatically change to the newsroom layout once reused.

This is the key benefit of Datawrapper River: More data, more charts, in good quality, interactive and responsive for use in breaking news. In a typical shift of the day there is not time for big analysis, the task is to be accurate, to the point and be very fast. In this way, Datawrapper River is something new. Think of it as a wire service for charts and maps. Recurring data such as unemployment, crime, traffic and so on can come in directly usable visualizations this way. No need to download, prepare and upload one and the same dataset again.

There are some additional benefits: The River will help you to find data. There might be a chart which is a bit older and leads you directly to the source to create a chart yourself. And, finally, it gives you a steady stream of inspiration how to use charts for a wide variety of topics.

ML:  It is an extension of the tool - the main point being that we extend into a much wider user group in journalism. Out of 100 journalists working in a newsroom, there are usually no more than three or four experts for data. Ideally it's a data team, like what they have at the New York Times, Guardian US, La Nacion and so on. Three or four? These people are usually flooded with work and projects. We hope that through Datawrapper River the use of data and visualizations will spread further. Much further, essentially to a point where every journalist can use data, every day.

ML: It's a new option to find relevant data and use it in your next article, right away. One click. This is not the only way in which journalists can use charts, but one that is underutilized. You can do a custom project, including coding, design for big stories. But then you need a data team and time. Another approach is to create a culture of good charting practices, my example would be what they do at The Economist, The Financial Times or "Neue Zürcher Zeitung" - still, you need specialists to do that and a budget. The option that is not used often enough is to use data in breaking news. I did an interview with David Bauer from NZZ last year - his goal to not have four, five or even ten big data interactives. At NZZ they use and create tools to improve 3000+ articles published over the year. Datawrapper River does that, on a potentially even larger scale and worldwide.

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