Analysing data is the future for journalists, says Tim Berners-Lee

Photo from The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/nov/22/data-analysis-tim-berners-lee)

Inventor of the world wide web says reporters should be hunting for stories in datasets

Sir Tim Berners-Lee reckons he’s glimpsed the future of journalism – and given he’s the person who invented the world wide web, you might not want to bet against him.

In his view, it lies with journalists who know their CSV from their RDF, can throw together some quick MySQL queries for a PHP or Python output … and discover the story lurking in datasets released by governments, local authorities, agencies, or any combination of them – even across national borders.

That’s because he thinks the future lies in analysing data. Lots of data. Speaking on Friday at the launch of the first government datasets for spending by departments of more than £25,000, he was asked who will analyse them once the geeks have moved on. What’s the point? Who’s really going to hold government, or anyone else, accountable?

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