Out-of-the-box versus in-house tools: how are they affecting data journalism in Australia?
Keywords: 
Data journalism
Business model
Journalism
Journalism practice
Australian journalism
Data visualisation
Dataviz
Tools
Issue Date: 
13-Oct-2020
Publisher: 
SAGE
ISSN: 
2200-467X
Note: 
CC BY NC ND
Citation: 
Lima-Santos, M.F. (Mathias Felipe) de; Schapals, A.K. (Aljosha Karim); Bruns, A. (Axel). "Out-of-the-box versus in-house tools: how are they affecting data journalism in Australia?". Media International Australia. , 2020-10-13,
Abstract
The proliferation of data journalism has enabled newsrooms to deploy technologies for both mundane and more sophisticated workplace tasks. To bypass long-term investment in developing data skills, out-of-the-box software solutions are commonly used. Newsrooms today are partially dependent on third-party platforms to build interactive and visual stories – but the business models of platforms are predisposed to changes, frequently inducing losses of stories. This article combines in-depth interviews and an ancillary survey to study the status quo and identify future challenges in embracing out-of-the-box and in-house tools, and their impact on Australian data journalism. Results indicate a dichotomy between commercial and public service media organisations. Commercial outlets are heavily reliant on out-of-the-box solutions to develop stories, due to a lack of skillsets and a shortage of skilled labour. By contrast, public service media are developing their own in-house solutions, which reflects their desire for the continuous digital preservation of data stories despite the challenges identified.

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