3 questions to Joshua Hatch

A DJA's Jury Member

17 March 2014

Mirko Lorenz

As we are approaching the deadline for Data Journalism Awards (4 April), Mirko Lorenz, the director of the programme, asked Joshua Hatch (Senior editor, data and interactives, at The Chronicle of Higher Education) a few questions about the importance of data in the newsroom.

Why should a newsroom care about data?

Newsrooms need to care about data, because data are the building blocks of facts, of stories, of trust with your readers. Data aren’t just a fad or a whiz-bang feature on a website, they are the foundations of your reporting. They can also drive engagement, interest and understanding with your readers, increasing the impact of your journalism.

Can you point to an example of data journalism you really like?

'Above the Law: Speeding Cops' from the Florida Sun Sentinel, which won the Pultizer Prize, is a great example of how data can be used to keep tabs on authority and serve the public interest. Data can also be used to drive compelling interfaces, such as the Axis Philly Property Tax map, which showed the actual impact of a property tax change, property by property.

Speeding Cops

What do you expect from submissions to this years' Data Journalism Awards?

The growth of data-driven journalism has been explosive and I would expect to see more stories that rely on data for the underlying reporting — stories that could not have been done otherwise — as well as more stories that present data to the users in more beautiful, refined, and engaging ways.

If you are interested in the Data Journalism Awards, you can find more information here. Submissions are accepted until 4 April.

See also: Meet Dino Citraro, a DJA's pre-jury member and Could Newsrooms Turn a Profit Using Data?