Unravelling Data Journalism: A study of data journalism practice in British newsrooms

Eddy Borges-Rey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The centrality of data in modern society has prompted a need to examine the increasingly powerful role of data brokers and their efforts to quantify the world. Practices and methods such as surveillance, biometrics, automation, data creeping, or profiling consumer behaviour, all offer opportunities and challenges to news reporting. Nonetheless, as most professional journalists display a degree of hesitancy towards numbers and computational literacy, there are only limited means to investigate the power dynamics underpinning data. This article discusses the extent to which current data journalism practices in the United Kingdom employ databases and algorithms as a means of holding data organisations accountable. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with data journalists, data editors, and news managers working for British mainstream media, the study looks at how data journalism operates within the news cycle of professional newsrooms in the United Kingdom. Additionally, it examines the innovations data journalism brings to storytelling, newsgathering, and the dissemination of news.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-843
Number of pages11
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2 2016


  • algorithms
  • big data
  • data brokers
  • data journalism
  • materiality
  • performativity
  • power
  • reflexivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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