Bouchart, who is in the process of handing over the blog to students on City’s interactive MA, will be starting a new job at Bloomberg next week, as the web producer for the EMEA zone. Launched in April 2011, the Data Journalism Blog gets around 15,000 hits a month from readers in 58 countries.
She said: “I’ve been interested in data journalism since 2007, when someone got hold of the data of where BNP members lived and made a Google Map, and people realised how much impact data could have on the news and reporting in general.
“It was while I was doing my MA at City that I started an independent platform for data journalism that could give journalists, designers and programmers and anybody interested in data a place to meet and learn how to do good data journalism.”
In January Bouchart wrote a feature for Journalism.co.uk about a French journalist, Denis Robert, who won a legal battle against a financial institution called Clearstream. Robert was in court for 10 years after he wrote a book claiming that the company could be used for money laundering and tax evasion. It was one of the biggest data stories of the past few years.
“I was one of the very few journalists, if not the only one, who managed to get an interview with Clearstream,” Bouchart said. “Since Clearstream kept a ‘no comment’ policy throughout the trial it was quite an achievement to get an interview with them and a great experience to write the feature.”
Bouchart has also been working with the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation on the Data Journalism Handbook, a project dedicated to helping journalists work with data on a daily basis in the newsroom.
“It was a compelling project, which saw people from so many different backgrounds come together to develop data journalism worldwide,” she said.
She worked on a chapter called “Data crowdsourcing” for the handbook, which will be released later this year.
She believes that journalists need to be able to work with data: “Numbers talk to people in a way that words can’t,” she said. “Data produces visualisations, and infographics are important for bringing a new dimension to Britain’s stories. More and more media organisations are realising the importance of using data on an everyday basis. It’s made them realise that they have to step up their game.”
Bouchart graduated from City’s MA in international journalism in 2011.
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