The idea that caused the creation of The Wire China
David Barboza, the business journalist that co-founded The Wire China, writes for Nieman Reports about his experience.
Now, just over a year and a half into this venture, I’m managing a weekly digital magazine focused on China’s rise as a global and economic power. Within the newsroom (which is now virtual, because of Covid-19) we also have an archive and a database that can be used by our own journalists, but soon, also by researchers, scholars, and businesses that are eager to understand China and its companies and entrepreneurs.
I realize this is going to be a challenge. But that’s part of the reason why I find it so exciting.
Building this startup is allowing me to think deeply about the question I began with: if data is so valuable, and journalists are out collecting it every day, organizing it, and analyzing it, why do so many journalists throw the raw material of their stories away — the notes, audiotapes, source documents, etc.? Why doesn’t The New York Times or The Washington Post value their reporters’ notebooks? Does the value of those digital and paper documents really go to zero once I publish (meaning we should just throw them out), or is there valuable material there — the contacts, documents, interview notes that can inform and deepen future stories, and perhaps even seed a future investigation?
The answer, I believe, is yes.
Read more here.