Democracy Is the Business Case for Open Data

opendata-u

I've been working in the Open Data community for about a year and a lot of people ask me, "What's the business case for Open Data?" Most of the software driving the Open Data movement is Open Source and free or nearly free. Data governance is handled on the fly. Lots of data is published at low refresh rates, with poor data quality, and no standard metadata. It is published in catalogs and it is extremely boring to read a catalog full of data. Continue Reading →

When Comedy Meets Muckraking: “Fake” News Gets Investigative

John Oliver

You've probably seen the spoof broadcasts of The Daily Show and similar "fake" TV news programs: the realistic sets, the bogus "live" shots from overseas hot spots, the absurd interviews. While steeped in wisecracks and satire, the shows have a hard political edge and often stir controversy. Increasingly, in the absence of serious news from the "real" news media, they also are getting into actual journalism, prompting one scholar to call the phenomenon "investigative comedy." Continue Reading →

How Can Online Research Tools Help Investigative Reporters?

Investigative Dashboard

How can online research tools aid the work of investigative reporters and others looking into transnational financial flows, corporate structures and other illicit activities of organized crime and global business? Google and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) brought together a small group of investigative journalists and technologists from around the world to examine the answers to this question at their first Investigathon in London last month. Continue Reading →

Open Data Is Not Open for Business

opendata

Open Data should be Open, right? When I read "Open Data" I think it means the data can be used openly by anyone for any purpose. But it ain't so. Read the fine print in the terms and conditions and you'll quickly realize that Open Data really means wide open liability. How on earth can Open Data restore trust in government if the governments publishing their own Open Data won't even accept responsibility for the quality of what they publish? Continue Reading →