Article published in Digital Journalism: “Big Data and Journalism: Epistemology, expertise, economics, and ethics, “

My dear friend and awesome collaborator – Seth C. Lewis – and I have recently published an article titled: “Big Data and Journalism: Epistemology, expertise, economics, and ethics”. This conceptual piece concludes the special section in Digital Journalism on big data and journalism guest edited by Seth C. Lewis. All the articles are accessible as online first, and are truly worth a read.

The full reference to our work is:

Lewis, Seth & Westlund, Oscar (2015). Big Data and Journalism: Epistemology, expertise, economics, and ethics, Digital Journalism, [Forthcoming], doi: 10.1080/21670811.2014.976418

You can dowload the article here

The abstact reads:

Big data is a social, cultural, and technological phenomenon—a complex amalgamation of
digital data abundance, emerging analytic techniques, mythology about data-driven insights,
and growing critique about the overall consequences of big-data practices for democracy and
society. While media and communication scholars have begun to examine and theorize about
big data in the context of media and public life broadly, what are the particular implications
for journalism? This article introduces and applies four conceptual lenses—epistemology,
expertise, economics, and ethics—to explore both contemporary and potential applications of
big data for the professional logic and industrial production of journalism. These distinct yet
inter-related conceptual approaches reveal how journalists and news media organizations are
seeking to make sense of, act upon, and derive value from big data during a time of explora-
tion in algorithms, computation, and quantification. In all, the developments of big data
potentially have great meaning for journalism’s ways of knowing (epistemology) and doing
(expertise), as well as its negotiation of value (economics) and values (ethics). Ultimately, this
article outlines future directions for journalism studies research in the context of big data.