Christian Pentzold

The exploitation of numeric data in journalism has been embraced as a fundamental shift in the way news making is done. An air of newness and urgency pervades much of the mushrooming academic debate and professional discourse around the so-called “computational turn” toward quantitative reporting. Although it builds on this literature, C. W. Anderson’s book-length study significantly broadens our perspective on data journalism and the technological, institutional, practical, and intellectual settings that allowed it to emerge and thrive. Unearthing these historic contexts, it shows that the protean data-oriented forms of news making are not a recent trend made possible by digitization or networked communication. Rather, they are an element of innovation and experiment that has been threading through the multiple stages of modern journalism during the twentieth century. The full article can be found here