Data Journalism Sustainability: An outlook on the future of data-driven reporting

Florian Stalph, Eddy Borges-Rey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


During its period of rapid growth, data journalism was poised to position journalism as society’s watchdog once again. But despite eager predictions, its rate of adoption outside large news organisations remains low, limiting the consolidation of data journalism to a normative practice. Through Scenario Network Mapping, this article seeks to outline the possible futures of data journalism practice by determining its sustainability in the current climate of journalism austerity. Results suggest three possible scenarios: (1) As a skillset, data journalism will soon be regarded as essential for every professional journalist. (2) As a genre, data journalism will remain a niche storytelling format but will ultimately find its way into smaller newsrooms due to decreasing limitations. (3) Due to financial and personnel limitations, data journalism will be abandoned by the mainstream media, who will outsource data analysis to non-legacy actors. Within this context, it remains to be seen whether data journalism can continue innovating in order to remain competitive in the constantly evolving ecosystem of today’s news production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1089
Number of pages12
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 14 2018


  • data journalism
  • data journalism research
  • evolution
  • future
  • scenario network mapping
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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