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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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Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

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

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

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

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

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

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

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

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

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

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

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

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

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

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

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

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Greg Emerson   Power to the user

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

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

Kevin D. Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

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

Catalina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

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

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

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

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

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

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

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

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

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

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

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

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

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

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

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

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Joshua P. Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

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

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

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

Juleyka Lantigua   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

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

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

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

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

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

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

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

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

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

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

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

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

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

Hearken   Pivot to people

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

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

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

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

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

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

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

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

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

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

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

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

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

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

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

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

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

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

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

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

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

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

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

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

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

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

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

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

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Errin Haines   Say it with me: Racism

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

j. Siguru Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

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

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

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

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product