The Guardian’s Simon Rogers writes a timely post on the potential of data for journalism ahead of a series of anticipated announcements from Downing Street, likely to start this week, that could give journalists access to more public data from local and national government.
Of all the datasets that will be released, possibly the most significant is something called the Combined Online Information System (Coins). This is basically a list of everything spent at every level of government in the UK. The Treasury has refused FoI [Freedom of Information] requests for it in the past (it is 24 million items long). Now its release is imminent, according to Downing Street sources.
Rogers looks at how this could change the way local government in particular is reported by local media and journalists and non-journalists working a hyperlocal beat.