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Data journalism becomes a global field

“As director of the Data Journalism Awards I saw a record number of entries in 2018 — nearly 700 — from 57 countries, and half from small newsrooms.”

In 2019, it will be 10 years since the launch of the Guardian Datablog, when my own particular journey into data journalism began. In the last decade, governments around the world have opened up their data, through official sites such as data.gov. Sophisticated data visualization and analysis tools such as OpenRefine and Flourish became freely available as the field went from niche to mainstream. Journalists, generally comfortable dealing in the economy of words, now appear finally to have thrown aside their fear of math and numbers.

What is new is how widespread this has become. Data journalism now belongs to the whole world — and 2019 will see that expand to the point that it will become a truly global field of work, with some newsrooms and journalists pushing the boundaries in using data to tell compelling stories.

As director of the Data Journalism Awards, I saw a record number of entries in 2018 — nearly 700 — from 57 countries, and half from small newsrooms. There were entries from India, Cuba, and the Philippines. We saw pieces that were at the edge of newsroom innovation. The winning project from a large data journalism team was Caixin in China, for instance, which has become a global leader in the field through its innovative visualizations — such as this beautiful project on high-speed rail in China.

Another example is Yudivián Almeida of Postdata.club in Cuba, who was mentioned for his “great cross-border data journalism” and his work reporting on the elections in Cuba.

Data journalism has always been about collaborating, sharing and spreading the knowledge amongst the community. This work doesn’t live in a silo — now we can learn from what these new outlets and reporters have done to teach the rest of the world. The new Data Journalism Handbook, published in its first edition since 2012 this month, reflects this new world — with chapters from authors writing about the rise of data journalism in China; how to report on social media data and how to practice the field in the Caribbean.

In 2019, data journalism will go beyond the mainstream to be a part of how journalism works everywhere.

Simon Rogers is data editor at the Google News Lab and director of the Data Journalism Awards.

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Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Robin Kwong   Tech shouldn’t be the only field pollinating “news nerds”

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Alyssa Zeisler   We expand what (and how and who) we serve

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Matt Karolian   Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Local news isn’t where you thought it was

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Elisabeth Goodridge   Yes, they signed up — but our job’s not over

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Seth C. Lewis   The gap between journalism and research is too wide

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Hearken   Pivot to people

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Hossein Derakhshan   The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Matt Waite   “I went to Node.js because I wished to live deliberately”

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement