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To date research about data journalism has been primarily focused on how it is practised in US and European contexts. This chapter will present the results of a study into the emerging practice of data journalism in the Pacific. It will be based on a study that combines content analysis of data journalism published in newspapers from six Pacific nations, documenting the extent and types of data journalism being practised and qualitative data sourced from interviews with editors and senior journalists working in the region. The study will also incorporate input from journalism educators and students at the University of the South Pacific based in Fiji, with campuses spread throughout Oceania. The existence of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Pacific Media Assistance Scheme; the Melbourne-based not-for-profit Asia Pacific Journalism Centre (established in 2003 to strengthen the capacity of the news media sector in the region) and foreign aid programmes focused on media capacity building evidence widespread understanding that media organisations in the Pacific face a number of challenges. Evaluation studies have identified a number of these problems including low wages, poor working conditions and lack of access to appropriate technology, as well as social structures that can inhibit journalists from holding powerful community members to account (Wake, Pacific Journalism Review, 22(2), 35–48, 2016). Given these circumstances it is not surprising that uptake of data journalism in the region has been slow. Research on the uptake of journalism in university journalism programmes in Australia in 2016 found that key inhibitors to the incorporation of data journalism were the lack of familiarity with the required skills and a lack of time to upskill, in addition to difficulties caused by students having low or mixed numeracy skill levels. This study will test whether similar issues are limiting the uptake of data journalism in the Pacific in educational settings, as well as in newsrooms.
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- Data Journalism in the Pacific: Practices and Perceptions
- Chapter 9