Big Data Journalists

Image by: Camelia.boban

A look into how journalists use data

Even in the 1800’s journalists were examining data, Jon Snow used a map to solve a Cholera crisis. Today data journalist’s exercise the power of the freedom of information act to gain access to big data. In 2009 The Daily Telegraph used the freedom of information act and discovered an MP claiming over £1000 for a floating Duck house. Text book move. This was great example of journalism, through the use of data can justly expose the dishonest amounts of money MPs were claiming selfishly from the public.

While analysing tables, charts, graphs and other databases journalists are looking for any thing that may seem strange or irregular, these might be found in graph patterns. The kind of indicators journalists look out for are volatile graph behaviour where you see sudden spikes or falls in graphs. In financial journalism they look at data and try to predict future market behaviour.

Check out this link and see a creative way of displaying information on the accuracy of fact or fiction in Hollywood movies. 


Big data is out there behind the scenes behind the screens, social media and city infrastructure. Data journalist’s analyse data to lift stories from the numbers. Facebook gets a wealth of it’s user’s information from posts and private messages. And all of these things are agreed to in the terms and conditions.