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We call it data driven journalism (DDJ) nowadays, and we used to call it computer assisted reporting. Did only the name change or has there been a more profound change in this set of skills and methods?

I talk a bit about this in the data journalism chapter of the Online Journalism Handbook. I think it’s a qualitative and quantitative change: CAR was primarily about using spreadsheets and databases on datasets, locally on your computer.

DDJ is about the shifts to datasets and tools that are available via the network: it includes automation of process (e.g. scraping, querying APIs), it includes the expansion of ‘data’ beyond spreadsheets to include a vastly expanded range of digitised information: connections, images, audio, video, text. It includes the shift to using CAR for newsgathering to using DDJ techniques for the actual communication of the story: from interactive databases to live visualisation, data-driven tools and apps, and so on.
With the ubiquity of new tools, such as tools for data visualisation, should every journalist be a data journalist nowadays? Can every journalist adopt these skills?

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Comment by A J G on January 21, 2013 at 8:44pm

Should every journalist be a data journalist? Probably yes, but it's not realistic. 

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