Should I Stay or Should I Code? Of Collaboration and Do-It-Yourself Programming in Investigative Journalism
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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For journalists, numerous digital tools such as spreadsheets or web application are readily available for easy implementation. however, using programming to build or modify scripts has been an unex- plored option for many journalists. Programming requires skills from the ict professions, so when journalists find coding to be an efficient tool, do they stick with their old methods and ask ict specialists for help, or do they learn to code themselves? this arti- cle is a qualitative study of the methodological reports pertaining to investigative projects nominated for the Norwegian journalism award sKUP. in these reports, programming has been used as a tool in 109 projects. the study examines which problems are solved using coding and the arguments for choosing this tool over simpler methods. it also looks at who performs the coding and how the editorial teams collaborate to reap the benefits of coding. the findings show that many journalists often find it difficult to collaborate with ict specialists. they would therefore rather learn basic coding skills themselves. they follow a “do-it-yourself” philos- ophy and learn simple and open programming languages such as sQl, Python just well enough to achieve their goals.