Introducing Naked Data

Introducing Naked Data

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Naked Data publishes the hottest data journalism stories, news, nerd-tools, and data viz from South Africa and the world. Why? Because we love data.

Naked Data is the bizarre lovechild of the Naked Data newsletter (from which it derives its most excellent name), and the Code for South Africa Data Journalism Academy (which has the kind of name you don’t want to see in a URL). From this odd coupling comes something surprisingly captivating — a symphonic mix of data visualisation, hot industry news, and the art of storytelling.

Naked Data is to become the hub of the data journalism universe, or at least a spoke. Or an important gear. Or perhaps a cog. Anyway, we’ll definitely be involved, and from our perspective quite central to the workings of the industrial machine that consumes data in one end and spits insights out the other.

We believe that data journalism is already an indispensable portion of the news media’s mix, somewhere between a beat and a specialisation. The future news teams will always have one or more data journalists, and as the public become more data literate, they will demand this greater insight from their news. And in the post-beat, post-specialisation world of journalism, where budgets are as tight as the deadlines, the mashup of journalist, technologist and designer that is a well-rounded data journalist will be the most valuable player on the news team. Our specialisation is our generalisation.

Data journalism is accountability with fact. It’s incredible stories where no-one has looked before. It’s bringing the mundane to life, and finding the adventure and magic in the complexity that surrounds us. It’s taking that complexity at the loose end and patiently unravelling it to find the thread of a story. Sometimes that story leads to the most incredible places.

It’s taking what is essentially gore-your-eyes-out-boring data, and making it fascinating, to our readers, both existing and new. It’s not only fascinating, it’s important, because the best data speaks to you personally. It helps you make the best decisions you can based on facts, instead of coin-tossing or witchcraft or whatever method you currently use.

It addresses issues that are close to you — both your heart and geographically. You are the reader. The media has forgotten how important you are, at its own peril. We are remembering, and treating you with the respect you deserve, as an intelligent person interested in the world around them and wanting to make a better place for yourself on this earth.

Because if our media is to survive, we need to do three things — make great content, draw in new readers, and make money. This publication aims to do two out of those three, because amongst our other ideals, we believe in freedom, and free media, and free information. And we have the advantage of not being mainstream media.

We’re a group of hackers, civically conscious troublemakers, and journalists with too much drive for our own good. We believe in informed decision making. We don’t really believe in changing the world — we leave that up to people with much greater skills and ambitions in that area. But if you do want to change the world, we can help you find the data you need to do it. Because that is the lever you need to change the world nowadays, to convince and change minds and hearts, and to measure if what you’re doing is making a difference. That is the power of data. It can change your life. It can change everyone’s life. It can be personal, or encompass the globe. It is everywhere, hiding in plain sight. It just needs someone to pick it up, clean it up, polish it up, and hold it up like a mirror to the world. And that is why we love data.

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