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State of Data Journalism 2023 results



Access to quality data remains the top hurdle for data journalists in 2023 (65%). Compared to 2022, this challenge has increased by eight percentage-points. The second most pressing issue is time pressure (48%), followed by a lack of adequate knowledge in data analysis (47%). Lack of interest from management is less of an issue in 2023 than 2022 and 2021 (a six percentage point decrease between the 2021 and 2023 survey editions). Lack of adequate software for data visualisation is also less of an issue in 2023 than 2022 and 2021 (a difference of 11 percentage points). These changes may suggest an evolving industry that is becoming more supportive of data journalism and its needs, for example through the development or improvement of data visualisation software.

The strong national variations previously noted when it comes to rating access and quality to local and national data in the country of work still persists. As in 2022, local data fares worse than national data, on both access and quality. Countries that tend to fare worse in one dimension, usually will either outperform or underperform in all dimensions. The persistent regional variations in access to and quality of local and national data suggests broader systemic issues related to data governance and transparency within different countries. They also underscore that depending on where you work you may also need to invest more time and resources in verifying and contextualising data to ensure its reliability and relevance. Addressing these challenges likely requires a blend of journalistic expertise, technological innovation, and advocacy efforts to ensure accurate and impactful reporting on critical issues.

Barriers to Learning

The increasing barrier of financial resources (53%) suggests a need for more accessible and affordable education pathways in data journalism. While some obstacles, such as limited internship opportunities and entering the industry, have slightly decreased, challenges related to access to expert educators and practical experience persist. Efforts to mitigate these barriers should focus on expanding educational resources, promoting mentorship programmes, and advocating for inclusive practices within the industry. This underscores the importance of fostering a supportive environment that enables aspiring data journalists to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the field.

Value of Data Journalism

While the majority of respondents (70%) acknowledge the role of data journalism in enhancing the reliability of stories, there's a less unanimous view (29%) regarding its necessity solely due to the proliferation of data. However, data journalism is widely recognised for its ability to contextualise stories (61%), uncover unique newsworthy events (59%), and facilitate the discovery of relevant stories (60%).

Yet, there's a more divided opinion on its utility for event detection and monitoring (33%) and predictive analysis (24%). These findings emphasise the multifaceted value of data journalism in enriching storytelling and informing the public, while also highlighting areas where its impact may be perceived differently among practitioners and audiences alike.

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