Data journalism has been an enormous focus for us on the Google News Lab over the previous three years—in constructing instruments, creating content material and sharing knowledge with the information journalism neighborhood. We needed to see if we’re taking the best strategy: how huge is knowledge journalism, what challenges do knowledge journalists face and the way is it going to vary?

Up till at present, we actually haven’t had clear solutions to these questions. So, in collaboration with PolicyViz, we carried out a sequence of in-depth qualitative interviews and an internet survey to higher perceive how journalists use knowledge to inform tales. We carried out 56 detailed in-person interviews with journalists within the U.S., UK, Germany and France and an internet survey of greater than 900 journalists. Our evaluation provides a glimpse into the state of knowledge journalism in 2017 and highlights key challenges for the sector transferring ahead. 

The consequence is among the first complete research of the sector and its exercise. A decade in the past, knowledge journalists there was solely handful of knowledge journalists. 

Today, this analysis exhibits that:

  • 42% of reporters use knowledge to inform tales repeatedly (twice or extra per week).
  • 51% of all information organizations within the U.S. and Europe now have a devoted knowledge journalist—and this rises to 60% for digital-only platforms.
  • 33% of journalists use knowledge for political tales, adopted by 28% for finance and 25% for investigative tales.

There is an enormous worldwide variation, even inside our research. In France, 56% of newsrooms have  an information journalist, adopted by Germany with 52%, the UK with 52%, and the U.S. with 46%. Despite its large development, knowledge journalism nonetheless faces challenges as we head in the direction of 2018.

  • 53% of the pattern noticed knowledge journalism as a speciality ability that requires intensive coaching, and isn’t simple to choose up.

  • Survey respondents additionally mentioned the time pressures they face and the restricted bandwidth from devoted knowledge journalists who can clear, course of, and analyze knowledge. We discovered that 49% of knowledge tales are created in a day or much less.

  • Our analysis additionally discovered that knowledge visualization instruments will not be maintaining with the tempo of innovation. As a consequence, reporters are constructing their very own options: a fifth of knowledge journalists use in-house instruments and software program, whether or not it’s knowledge visualization instruments and even knowledge cleansing options.


More than half of respondents need their organizations to make use of extra knowledge to inform tales. But, some felt the return on funding was unclear because the manufacturing of knowledge journalism can take vital time and sources.

The future of knowledge journalism, although, has by no means been as vital as it’s at present, nor as a lot part of the best way journalists work each day, as this research exhibits. As one in every of our interviewees put it:

We heard from one knowledge journalist within the U.S. that “knowledge is an efficient manner of attending to the reality of issues … on this post-truth period, this work is more and more vital. We are all desperately looking for information.”

This article sources data from The Keyword