Review: Facts are Sacred

by darribas

Facts are Sacred
Facts are Sacred by Simon Rogers
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The book is a short compilation of experiences encountered by The Guardian journalists in dealing with what is come to be known as “data journalism”. Throughout eight chapters, several loosely related topics are exposed, from what they consider “data journalism” is to how crowdsourcing can help it.

It really is a short read, but I think it should have actually been shorter. Some of the chapters feel too forced to be in the book, almost just to fill pages. As an example, the last one is a simple compilation of facts based on different statistics that are presented to the reader with not context or framework whatsoever. I think that chapter in particular does a poor job at helping illustrate how data can create, reinforce and make stories more appealing and insighful in journalism.

On the plus side, I greatly enjoyed the first three chapters, where the concept is presented from first hand (The Guardian is indeed at the forefront of data journalism) and some experiences are shared in relation to the work they’ve done, for example trying to make sense out of UK government data and bringing WikiLeaks data to the main public.

In conclusion, it is a short book worth reading and with some interesting views on how journalism is to change in the next decades, but it would probably have to be shorter.

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