NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press has announced plans to expand its data-driven journalism with a $400,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will improve public access to critical information and provide increased distribution of localized data to thousands of news organizations.
The hiring of additional data journalists will enable the AP team to increase its production of projects based on analysis of national and local data, bring data journalism into more newsrooms, and lead to more collaborative projects with reporters and editors at all kinds of news organizations. The data will be distributed to AP members and customers, including broadcasters, newspapers and new media.
The AP also will codify best practices for data journalism in the form of an addendum to the AP Stylebook, already an industry standard for style and practices across media platforms. Also planned is the development of an online portal where customers can download market-specific information.
"Data has become essential to the 21st century newsroom," said Brian Carovillano, AP's vice president for U.S. news. "The volume of data available grows exponentially each year, but this comes as many news organizations are grappling with challenges that make retraining staff and reallocating resources more difficult than ever. Our goal is to help them be part of this revolution."
The AP has successfully worked with its member news organizations on such data-driven projects as community flood insurance rates, commuting times in U.S. metro areas, and oil and gas drilling on tribal lands. The Knight Foundation funding will allow for an increase in the number and scope of such projects, providing value and content in fresh and innovative ways, while helping to better inform the public.
"In the digital age, a smart data strategy can help news organizations with everything from breaking news to richer storytelling," said Shazna Nessa, Knight Foundation director for journalism. "The Associated Press has already made great strides in helping news organizations apply data to their work; with more resources they have the potential to help create a standard for better data journalism and support stronger, more informed communities into the future."