Vivek Kundra’s Harvard study on the potential of open data and data journalism in a democracy:
In today’s world, open data leveraged by networks is the fuel that powers important decisions at each level of society—from government, to business, to community, to households—but it is also a product of our every activity at every level of our existence.
Channeling the power of this open data and the network effect can help:
- Fight government corruption, improve accountability and enhance government services
- Change the default setting of government to open, transparent and participatory
- Create new models of journalism to separate signal from noise to provide meaningful insights
- Launch multi-billion dollar businesses based on public sector data
The papers in America will die in five, maybe ten years. Who knows? But there are some parts of the world where newspapers will be successful for the next many years. There, newspapers can easily make money.
Think about Asia — regions in China or the Middle East — where Internet coverage is not yet so high. Newspapers there are just becoming an interesting medium for advertisers. But the success we’ve had in Central Europe, doubling circulation in some countries, would be impossible to repeat in Western countries. Newspapers will die in some regions and blossom in others.” —Jacek Utko tells TED Blog how design can save newspapers
Something happened in our press over the last 40 years or so that never got acknowledged and to this day would be denied by a majority of newsroom professionals. Somewhere along the way, truthtelling was surpassed by other priorities the mainstream press felt a stronger duty to. These include such things as “maintaining objectivity,” “not imposing a judgment,” “refusing to take sides” and sticking to what I have called the View from Nowhere.
No one knows exactly how it happened, for it’s not like a policy decision came down at some point. Rather, the drift of professional practice over time was to bracket, or suspend sharp questions of truth and falsehood in order to avoid charges of bias, or excessive editorializing. Journalists felt better, safer, on firmer professional ground–more like pros–when they stopped short of reporting substantially untrue statements as false. One way to describe it (and I believe this is the correct way) is that truthtelling moved down the list of newsroom priorities. Other things now ranked ahead of it.” —