In 1858, Florence Nightingale took important raw facts and figures and transformed them into graphics, highlighting the health issues faced by the British soldiers in the latrines. Way back then, no one would have termed this data-driven journalism. But today, in the age of Big Data and Wikileaks, we’re actually confronted with this phenomenon on a daily basis, making Nightingale’s 19th century work ever-present.
Behind those facts and figures, there are some truly exciting stories just waiting to be uncovered. Renowned media houses, including The Guardian and The New York Times, have long since recognized this fact and have well-established teams designated especially for data-driven journalism. But what is it exactly that defines this form of journalism? And what does it mean for authors today?