David Higgerson blogs about the idea of ‘actionable’ news – a phrase that he first heard at last week’s Society of Editors conference from Reuters’ Jodie Ginsberg:
I see actionable news being right at the heart of the idea of data journalism. Information may well be freely available in a way we’ve never seen before, but that doesn’t mean the role of the storyteller has fallen by the wayside. As long as the writer who gets to grips with a spreadsheet of data is also plugged into the community they serve, and knows what they are interested in, then we’ve got actionable news (…) It shouldn’t be a revelation to journalists – after all, newsroom planners have certain data-rich days marked in every year, such as GCSE league tables day. But rather than be dictated to by a government planning calendar, journalists who can marry data access to issues which impact on people’s lives can provide make their work, and the titles they work for, more relevant to an audience than ever before.