Home > Future of News Media, Open Data, Semantic Web > Open Data Strategies and News Media – update

Open Data Strategies and News Media – update

Last year, I had several posts around Open Data strategies – focusing specifically on News Media organizations. I’d like to provide an update. Actually, this post is a compilation of a collection of e-mails, so hopefully it come together in some coherent manner.

Data-driven Journalism

The collection of posts began with a questions as to whether data-driven journalism should be considered a future strategic capability of news media organizations?

The question was prompted by a post from from zero hedge: Another Massively Interactive European Chart, which referenced an interactive chart published by the Economist. It reminded me again of the power of Info-graphics to “enlighten and explain”.

For additional articles on data-driven journalism, see the following:

The Bigger Picture – Open Data

I then briefly explored the importance of Open Data, a capability that would offer strong material for data-driven journalism. I provided the following links:

Also of interest is The Guardian’s strong advocacy for opening up public data sources, in part to put to the service of journalism.

Linked Data – Technological foundation for Open Data on the Web

The following e-mail provided some context for the W3C’s Linked Data initiative. In particular, it provided links to thoughts from Martin Belam, the Chief Information Architect at The Guardian, on how Linked Data will affect the future of News organizations. These links are provided below:

There’s also a very interesting presentation from the News Linked Data Summit in February 2010, where a presentation was given titled News Media Metadata – The Current Landscape. It would be nice to have the video to go with this presentation, but there some great content in the slide deck.

On the topics of semantics, here’s ReadWriteWeb’s archived articles from SemTech 2010 if anyone is interested. Facebook and Google both had a strong presence at this year’s Semtech conference.

Government and Community Open Data Initiatives

A third e-mail followed discussed some of the current movements by various level of government – from countries to municipalities – to freely open up their data to the public.

Here’s an interesting link announcing the pending formal UK government launch of their Open Data initiative, prompted by Tim Berners-Lee. And here’s The Guardian’s announcement of the launch the following day, with a video clip of Sir Tim himself. As The Guardian’s Martin Belam comments in a post days after the announcement, “We now know that, whatever the outcome of the next election, we are only going to see more Government and state gathered data published, not less. So how, as the news industry, are we going to respond to this, and what does the digital news media look like in a world with a high level of semantic state data available?”

The UK Government is a pioneer here for sure, but it’s a trend that many are already promoting in Canada. This represents a real opportunity, IMO, for journalism – as Belam strongly advocates for – for helping people make sense out of government data, to illuminate the broader patterns and relevance to peoples’ lives, and to host discussion around important “topics that matter”. Note the list of Canadian municipalities in this wiki page that are moving ahead full steam with Open Data initiatives. See the following articles for Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. And here’s a recent Forrester blog post on the topic.

And that’s about that. 🙂


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