FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

posted on 08 November 2015

Data Enabling A New Kind Of Journalism

from the Economics and Statistics Administration

-- this post authored by Eric Newburger - Senior Scientist for Data Training, Department of Commerce

Statistics in journalism have been around for a long time - most often associated with sports and financial stories. However, with new tools to help visualize complex statistics, data today is powering new and better ways to tell compelling stories.

Rainfall in California, three-year averages, October to September

One example was in The New York Times published over the summer about the impact of California's drought on the region's wildfires. The article, which features amazing photography and compelling stories of being on the frontlines of wildfire-fighting, is enhanced by data visualization that allows readers to digest the scope of the drought and the historic spread of wildfires in the region. The article includes data from the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with other federal datasets, to highlight the severe lack of rainfall in recent years. Another graphic, a map featuring U.S. Forest Service data on the exponential growth of dead trees in drought-stricken lands, helps readers understand what's fueling wildfire growth.

Last summer, officials recorded 110,000 tree deaths in that area of California.

Dead trees per acre 2014

When they returned to the same area this spring, they recorded 2.3 million tree deaths. In all, they identified 12.5 million dead trees in a million acres of California land.

Dead trees per acre in 2015

These visualization would not be possible without data collected by federal agencies. Data, which are now able to be unlocked using new and emerging technologies, including free online tools like D3, are opening up information in ways that haven't been conceived before.

Data sells. More and more stories today feature graphics that are based on data collected by federal sources - including population and economic information from the Census Bureau, weather data from NOAA and trade data from the International Trade Administration. Many new news sites, including fast-growing web-only publications like and FiveThirtyEight, are making data journalism a centerpiece of their work. This has encouraged traditional newspapers to emphasize data in their stories. In fact, many of these news organizations are making substantial investments in personnel, including statisticians, data scientists and graphic designers, to help make their stories more data-focused.

With data becoming a bigger priority in news-gathering, journalists are now able to effectively couple captivating anecdotes with hard data, presented in ways that are accessible to the average reader, to transform stories from just entertaining to truly informative.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Taking a Wrench to Healthcare
Rising Tide Does Not Lift All Ships
News Blog
Consequences Of Rising Income Inequality
America's Most Competitive Renters: Why Many Are Choosing To Rent
Historical Echoes: The Bank Teller Action Figure, Or It's All In The Packaging
Infographic Of The Day: The Oil Market Is Bigger Than All Metal Markets Combined
U.S. 2016 Election Divides Advanced And Emerging Economies
Which Countries Read The Most
The World's Most Expensive Retail Locations
How To Help Energy Demand Match Renewable Supply
Music Subscriptions Revive Revenue
How The Space Station Avoids Junk In Space
Infographic Of The Day: The Most Popular Jobs In A Decade
Early And Late Cycle Verdicts Are Baseless
The Surprising Divergence Of Employment And Capacity Utilization
Investing Blog
FinTech Is Taking A Bite Out Of Banks
Options Early Assignment - Should You Worry?
Opinion Blog
The Beer Goggles Stock Market
US 2016 Election: Will US-China Relations Change
Precious Metals Blog
Preparing For Post-Election Social Unrest
Live Markets
21Oct2016 Market Close: Major US Indexes Close Flat On Low Volume, Crude Prices Resume Climb, US Dollar Stabilizes In Mid 98 Handle, Yes, Most Investors Are Worried Which Way This Market Will Go
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

Crowdfunding ....



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved