By the Numbers: Data journalism projects as a means of teaching political investigative reporting
Worldwide, journalism students—under the supervision of lecturers, and backed by the resources of universities—have begun to distinguish themselves as important creators of public interest reporting. The industry shift towards collaborative, multi-directional news-gathering processes places these students, as networked journalists, in a favoured position within emerging information spaces. However, despite widespread interest within the industry and academe in the roles non-traditional participants can play in creating media content, literature outlining the frameworks and processes for networked journalism initiatives is scarce. Using a data-driven political investigation by Bond University students as a case study, this article contributes to the creation of such frameworks. The ‘Order in the House’ project (published by Crikey in June 2013) mined publicly available Australian parliamentary records to assess 150 politicians’ engagement and efficiency in the lead-up to a federal election. This article outlines the scope and limitations of the project, and the research design, teaching techniques and technology used to facilitate data collection and presentation.
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