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Reports

The Benefits and Risks of Media Data Democratisation

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US$795 Value

NOTE: This report is provided free to the news media industry through the support of the Meta Journalism Project. If you are not an INMA member or registered user, click here to register and get your free report.

How news media companies can drive data usage through democratization is the focus of this report.

Key subjects covered in the report include:

  • The importance of data democratisation.
  • Benefits of data and metrics.
  • Risk mitigation of data and metrics abuse.
  • Metrics for measuring journalism.
  • Development of data products.
  • Embracing experiments.
  • Driving change.

Among the report’s case studies are Mediahuis, SBT News, Público, UOL, Editora Globo, Caracol TV, Diário do Nordeste, Los Andes, Grupo Reforma, Página 12, El Tiempo, El Universal, Die Presse, and Grupo AM.

Author

Greg Piechota is a researcher-in-residence in INMA and the lead of the association’s Readers First Initiative. An ex-fellow at Oxford and Harvard universities, he studied technology-enabled patterns across industries with a focus on business model innovation in news media. He is a former media executive with 20+ years of industry experience, notably at Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza. Piechota has served on the INMA Board of Directors and president of the association’s European Division.

Who should read this report

C-suite at news media companies
Data and business intelligence executives

Detailed overview

Data democratisation by media companies is part of a broader trend toward evidence-based decision-making driven by new economic pressures on efficiency, management ideas aimed at boosting effectiveness, and advances in technologies. The overwhelming blocker to democratise data in newsrooms is culture, with a recent INMA meet-up survey revealing 87% saw dismissive culture as the single biggest barrier.

“The Benefits and Risks of Media Data Democratisation” fuses together work done in 2021 on a Meta Journalism Project Latin America Audience Analytics Accelerator, findings from Year 1 of the INMA Smart Data Initiative, and academic research.

According to the report, the process of data democratisation – notably for media companies – consists of:

  • Understanding the purpose of data.
  • Choosing relevant metrics.
  • Developing data products.
  • Embracing the scientific method of decision-making.
  • Motivating decision-makers.

The report, written by INMA Researcher-in-Residence Greg Piechota, distills the findings of the Audience Analytics Accelerator Latin America 2021, a joint programme by the Meta Journalism Project and the International News Media Association, in collaboration with the International Center For Journalists (ICFJ). The project offered an eight-month training program and US$250,000 in grants to eligible news organizations from across the region to transform their online businesses through data insights and analysis. The report sheds light on practical solutions publishers can use to drive data usage through democratisation.

Key subjects covered in the report include:

  • The importance of data democratisation.
  • Benefits of data and metrics.
  • Risk mitigation of data and metrics abuse.
  • Metrics for measuring journalism.
  • Development of data products.
  • Embracing experiments.
  • Driving change.

“As you read, you will soon discover that you are in the trenches with peer publishers. The struggle. The creativity. The ever-present culture,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “You will walk away from this report inspired and challenged from the journey of these Latin American publishers.”

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