How The Markup will use data to examine tech companies
Peter Kafka of Recode examines The Markup, business journalist Julia Angwin’s new website that will examine the operations of big tech companies.
Here is an excerpt of their conversation:
And your premise is, and correctly — your premise is correct, up until now there really hasn’t been a lot of good consistently, skeptical, data-focused reporting on technology.
I think I would phrase it just slightly different, which is I think there are a lot of really good reporters doing skeptical, smart reporting. But what we have lacked as an industry, journalism just crippled financially, and we have lacked the resources for really intensive data investigations, which are expensive. So that’s how we’re going to approach the topic, with a staff that is half programmers, half journalist. So that’s very expensive, and the kinds of investigations we’re going to do are maybe take a long time.
So explain what data-focused journalism is and how it differs from the FiveThirtyEight Nate Silver “data journalism.”
I’m struggling because I actually would like to come up with a new word to differentiate myself from what people think of as data journalism but I haven’t come up with that word yet. But I will let you know when I do.
Essentially data journalism has long meant looking at existing data sets, right? So if you look at FiveThirtyEight, they’re really good at statistical, meta-analyses of existing data. So that’s why they do polls, you know, baseball, the Fed, these are all data sets.
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