This is an interesting summary from ReadWriteWeb about the role of data in media with several fresh innovative examples coming up 2009. Some of them have already been presented before as posts in this blog. The conclusion is that journalism is data-driven and demands open access to raw data. Data should be transparent and not be hidden in pdf-files or orther formats without links to raw data (micro data). However, integrity aspects of such transparency are not discussed and they are certainly an important issue among official and public statistics data producers in this context.
Journalism has always been about reporting facts and assertions and making sense of world affairs. No news there. But as we move further into the 21st century, we will have to increasingly rely on “data” to feed our stories, to the point that “data-driven reporting” becomes second nature to journalists.
The shift from facts to data is subtle and makes perfect sense. You could that say data are facts, with the difference that they can be computed, analyzed, and made use of in a more abstract way, especially by a computer.