The epistemologies of data journalism
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNew Media & Society. 2023, . 10.1177/14614448221150439
Amid digital developments, data journalism has gained a strong foothold among news publishers and in public discourse. With its authoritative claims and informative visualizations, it can play a significant role in the actions of citizens and people in power. This mixed-method case study explores a distinct epistemology developed in an independent form of data journalism in public service media in Scandinavia, not subordinate to traditional news values or investigative journalism. The study investigates its knowledge and truth claims, approach to data, transparency practices, and resources invested to claim reliable knowledge. The epistemology is characterized by innovative practices in the visualizing of essentially prejustified datasets. It claims public value offering general information and audience-friendly explorations of individual perspectives on topics on the public agenda. The approach to data views reality as measurable facts yet indicates epistemic ambiguity regarding figures’ reliability, guided by a principle of reasonableness in the justifications of truth claims.