Chapter 18

Data Science in Journalism: Nailing Down the Five Ws (and an H)


check Defining the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a data-driven story

check Sourcing data to use for a story

check Finding and presenting your data-driven story

For as long as newsrooms have been around, reporters have been on a mission to cover answers to questions about the “Five Ws and an H” (or 5W1H) — the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a given topic. The tools have changed over the years and the data sources — such as data generated on social media networks — have grown, but this only provides journalists with deeper and more insightful answers to their questions. In this era of digital media, traditional journalists can’t survive if they cannot quickly find sufficient answers to these questions — they simply won’t be fast enough or relevant enough to compete with other, more data-savvy journalists. Indeed, any journalist who wants to stay competitive in her field has to develop at least basic data science skills and hone those skills to help her develop, design, and publish content that consistently demonstrates competitive readership and engagement rates (metrics that indicate the ...

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