Posted in Behind the News

AP to expand data-driven journalism with $400,000 from Knight

, by Lauren Easton

The Associated Press today announced an effort to expand public access to critical information and bring data journalism to a wider array of news organizations with $400,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

With the funding, AP will add additional data journalists to its team and increase its distribution of data sets that include localized information to thousands of news organizations. This expansion will lead to more collaborative projects with newsrooms across the country. AP will also establish and distribute data journalism best practices as an addendum to the 2017 Associated Press Stylebook, focusing on style, ethics and standards. Additionally, it will create an online portal where customers can download market-specific information.

“Data has become essential to the 21st century newsroom,” said Brian Carovillano, AP’s vice president for U.S. news. “The volume of data available grows exponentially each year, but this comes as many news organizations are grappling with challenges that make retraining staff and reallocating resources more difficult than ever. Our goal is to help them be part of this revolution.”

AP has successfully worked with its member news organizations across the country on such data-driven projects as community flood insurance rates, commuting times in U.S. metro areas, and oil and gas drilling on tribal lands. Knight Foundation funding will allow the news organization to expand these types of projects, providing value and content to a wider variety of news organizations in fresh and innovative ways.

“In the digital age, a smart data strategy can help news organizations with everything from breaking news to richer storytelling,” said Shazna Nessa, Knight Foundation director for journalism. “The Associated Press has already made great strides in helping news organizations apply data to their work; with more resources they have the potential to help create a standard for better data journalism and support stronger, more informed communities into the future.”

AP will further increase the number of data-driven projects it produces. It will distribute detailed local data sets to AP members and customers, including broadcasters, newspapers and new media, and collaborate with other news organizations on their data-driven projects. The goal is to bring data journalism to more newsrooms and enable them to make greater use of data in their reporting, while better informing the public.