Denise Fechner, M.A.
While the future of data-driven journalism has attracted widespread and controversial debate, this project takes a novel approach towards a deeper understanding of this emerging field and asks: What is the future in data journalism?
In this project, we want to study how journalism uses digital data and algorithmic analyses to anticipate, draft, and evaluate future scenarios and developments. With that, this study takes a novel view on understanding the complex temporal orientations in journalistic practice and its products that sheds light on the largely unrecognized though essential aspect of modern time and its interrelation with modes of witnessing and knowing.
To date, the mainstream of research in the humanities, cultural studies, and social sciences is either interested in the mnemonic function of journalism and its part in commemorating past events or it focusses on its role in tracking the most recent news. Little attention, however, is given to the journalistic outlook on the future and its entanglement of the tenses. Our project addresses this gap by conceptualizing and examining the prospective and projective dimension of journalism. It concentrates on data journalism as a recent field of communicative innovation that supports various types of engagement with the future.