South Africa: to data or not to data

Image compliments of Google.com

Image compliments of Google.com

Technology and Data is slowly taking over the world it is just a matter time before it invades the whole of South Africa. As one analyses technological development in South Africa, it is quite slow, but new technological trends do eventually reach us. Now with data journalism making its way into our media industry slowly but surely. Data journalism, as explained in the previous posts about the rise of Data journalism around us, is more a computer assisted journalism. So why is it important that South Africa join in on this transformation of journalism? Maybe because we are very quick on following global trends, so why not follow it when it comes to media?
Well from as far I can see, Data journalism is actually starting to show face in our country. But according to Raymond Joseph, South African media is very slow on the uptake of data journalism and coding. He refers to a technological organisation, Code For South Africa, and he also describes their aim; “The aim of what we are doing is to promote informed decision-making and we do this by taking data and building tools that deploy it in a way that journalists and other non-tech people are able to use without having to know how to code.”, but then goes on to explain that this process in South Africa is long and a “hard slog”. Code4SA wants newsrooms to not only use data journalism with illustrations like maps and visualisations, they also want “actionable information that people can use to get a better understanding of a situation and act on”. And South Africans can learn a lot from this.
Stephen Abbott Pugh goes on to say that rest of African media should adapt onto the Technological change within media. He, this time, refers to the Code For Africa association (Code4SA is like a sub-association under Code For Africa). “Code for Africa has had great success with projects that focus on creating “actionable data” for citizens.”, like what the Code4SA is trying to do in South Africa.
So in conclusion, even though when it comes to data journalism in South Africa, it is a very slow process, but it is here and many organisations are here to make it a reality (Code4SA). Code4SA even organised winter schools in South Africa for Data journalism, this might be to speed up the process of bringing data journalism here. Attracting the youth, so that they can grow within data journalism.

The Revolution of Journalism

Journalism is dying? Well I haven’t seen it going into cardiac arrest as of recent. What people mean by this is that compared to the new age of journalism; which is robojournalism, datajournalism, social media with its microblogs etc journalism is losing its essence. In my opinion, I think it is only changing the face of journalism as we know it. When one thought journalism in the past, immediately you’d think reading a newspaper, watching news on television or listening to what is happening around us on the radio. Today it is not that simple anymore.

As Randy Bennett (famous journalism blogger) mentions in his blog, “data will be at the core of everything media companies do going forward” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-bennett/why-the-future-of-media-a_b_5175710.html). Sure, but then I couldn’t agree more with a statement made on Aurora Comms blog which is as follows: “Well yes they would, and rightly so. Blogs offer opinion but can they really match up to the global reach of a highly-trained journalist network and can bloggers, even ‘super-bloggers’, present the quality of visual content we all know and love from the BBC?” (http://www.auroracomms.com/people/the-future-of-journalism/#.VfvynKkaK1s). And that is exactly why I think traditional media can not ultimately die.

Steven Buttry then argues that: “I’d argue that it’s also an essential form of community engagement.” (https://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/), it all comes down to how interactive and engaging that media platform is. And I must admit when it comes down to that, the new media is winning, commentary is faster and everyone has a chance to have “their say” put out there almost as fast as you can say go.

future-of-journalism

Journalism is dying? Prepare to get underpaid. Image compliments of Google.com.

Journalism has changed but it’s not ultimately dying. The new age journalism is just a result of transformation within the industry. The principle of collecting and gathering news honestly and fairly basically stays the same. Saying that it’s dying basically means that it will no longer be around as a career or it being non-existent in the near future. This can be argued with the various styles of journalism maybe, like the traditional journalism and yes it is a fact that technology is taking over, but news channels should still be around, newspapers should still be around. As when one reads anything on social media, one reads shortened versions of the series of events. With traditional media one still has a chance to read to fully understand and grasp the context of what has happened. So sure, with the new media news travels faster, but traditional media is still the best way to understand news.