The new journalism is called OPEN DATA ...

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World & Business - Marketing
Friday, 25 February 2011 10:33
Periodismo de Datos

Data Driven Journalism Journalism + Open Data =

But everyday there are stories of great social significance that simply disappear because there has been behind a curious man, a researcher believes, a professional committed to the right to information questions and inquiries from the official reports ... that would require certain public data s are that, public.

That we now call information is very curious things. For example, the best stories almost always die in a drawer, on a scrap of paper left ... There are reports ever published. Sometimes, a "misunderstood" sense of journalistic responsibility. Further, under pressure from institutional cabinet in office.

But there are stories that win. One of them is called, in fact, The Story , a blog behind which lies the greatest release of data ever undertaken by a public institution in Ireland.

In particular, it is the opening of millions and millions of records for every expenditure made by the National Parliament Oirechtas or the country in recent years, including those made by its members under the House budget.

This milestone, which is related to the basic principles of Open Government Data would not have been news in all national newspapers but for the disclosure of certain extravagance of some of their Lordships: travel tickets to London to see the horse races hats, gift for the wife, limousines for crossing from one terminal to another within the same airport ...

Not even the resignation of the President of the Parliament itself would have been news if Ireland, like much of the EU other than Spain, "did not have a Law on Access to Information and professionals dedicated to Data-Driven Data Journalism or Journalism.

The protagonist, in this case, Gavin Sheridan , journalist and collaborative web enthusiast who for years worked for their government and their country's institutions more transparent and closer to citizens.

Gavin, who this February said the feat of The Story in Madrid ( see presentation ) hand civic platform Pro Bono Publico and Access Info Europe and Medialab-Prado , embodies a new generation of professionals dedicated to research databases of public nature, sometimes with more discretion than others, manage the government.

The goal? Unravel thousands of official documents, most unknown or unintelligible to all citizens and ensure that what whites have been popularized under the term accontability or accountability. That is, make a permanent and visible thanks to the Internet acts and actions made by governments, their legality, their effectiveness, the adequacy of these made or committed to financial means and materials used for the implementation of those, among other indicators.

The Data-Driven Journalism is, for some, one of the greatest opportunities for the profession of journalism to regain its social credit ... and binding, according to most, to save the image of our democratic institutions, mired in a serious crisis confidence around the world.

In fact, newspapers like The Guardian have become the subject in one of their flagships and have professionals such as Lisa Evans , also present at the Barcamp of February 15 their paper in detail ), one of the best examples of this "new journalism?

¿Dónde van mis impuestos?

Public data visualization: Where do my taxes?

Not everything is so simple. For now, just the release of government data is not a guarantee in itself. Sometimes, even with the best effort of the Administration, the thousands of records published or not useful, or, quite simply, are not understood.

Where do my taxes? , application developed by David Cape in collaboration with Pro Bono Publico and the Open Knowledge Foundation represents another branch and increasingly indispensable fashion of Open Government Data and Data-Driven Journalism: the display of public data.

And what is it? To convert numbers, variables in simple tables and graphs available to everyone, yes, after a process of analysis and conceptualization intense ... or international calls for crowdsourcing, open to designers, creatives, developers, developers ... as Design for America , for which we discussed in another post .

A perfect example in our country of this activity is the study of official data on levels of pollution in the city of Madrid by Sergio Alvarez (see presentation ) and the team Vizzuality .

Interested in viewing? Take a look at this workshop -MediaLab Prado .

There is no doubt that stories like Gavin Sheridan have many elements in its favor, including a Law on Access to Information as demanded by the Coalition for Access . The basics, however, we already have: social-minded journalists, experts in Open Data (special mention to José Luis Marín and Euroalert ), Internet activists and civic organizations as the two boys of Pro Bono Publico and Access Info Europe ...

Now what we need are c itizens committed and more open government.