Nowadays, big data has been pervasive. Many industries have been involved in its shock wave, bringing the changes of industry trend and even operation guidelines. For journalism, the news is no longer simply an interview, a report. The practice of using quantitative data to aid in journalism is nothing new.
One piece of data news ‘Big adjustment of railway operation plan’ caused a sensation on media platforms. The journalist predicted the future of China based on 320,000 railway data. This is different from traditional news which uses representative cases, occasionally with some small sample quantitative analysis, to write a story and tell a truth. Now the external environment has changed, people’s behavior and social changes are recorded in the form of big data. Accordingly, new technology generates new media forms.
Taking the data news of ‘Big adjustment of railway operation plan’ as an example, it starts to use big data other small samples, which is the birth of era of news methodology. It is not an subversive activity, on the contrary, it enriches and extends news perspective and value. With the analysis of 320,000 data, we can see regional economic and demographic changes that are reflected in the adjustment of railway operation plan. This is the angel that traditional news coverage cannot touch.
Of course, data journalism of China has limits. Due to the newly introduction of data journalism, many audiences are not familiar with this reporting mode. It maybe difficult for them to accept data journalism. In addition, lots of journalists in China don’t have access to update their skills, which leads to gaps in coverage as well as a lack of strongly analytical reporting being based on data and open information.
It is the time that China’s data journalists should pursue new journalism in a way that has the potential to both their country and the world.