Past Meetup

HH Scotland Launch: What is data journalism's place in Scotland?

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This event has SOLD OUT but there is a waiting list in operation in the event someone cancels at the last minute:


Hacks/Hackers Scotland launches on the 11th of October in Glasgow with a series of short talks and drinks reception. There will be an opportunity to network with journalists, technologists and academics working at the intersection between technology and journalism.

Our first Hacks/Hackers Scotland event offers a provocation: What are the factors that stifle innovation in data journalism in Scotland? And how can we, as a community of hacks and hackers, address them?

In a fragile and fractured public sphere, tapping into ‘big data’ offers the potential for journalism to withstand the deluge of misinformation by uncovering truths about the world. Globally, newsrooms have started embracing data journalism, bridging the worlds of journalism and technology. With a growing interest and expertise in data journalism, computational and data literacy among journalists becomes crucial to their practice as more and more journalists manipulate data and delve into databases to uncover stories. In many legacy UK newsrooms, data journalism has become an area of strategic investment, and the distinction between hacks and hackers has disappeared altogether, with blurred lines between computational analysis, coding and writing.

Where does Scotland sit in this wider trend?

A rare study of data journalism in the devolved nations of the UK found that:

"Paradoxically, with a public sphere avid for local content and saturated with national and regional titles, it is the Scottish press that fails to recognise the ability of data journalism to generate exclusives from local data that could provide a competitive advantage, better serve a national news agenda and reinforce a distinctive local identity" (Borges-Rey, 2017).

Despite media organisations’ fledgling interest and investment in data journalism, Borges-Rey found that it remains largely on the fringes of journalism practice in Scotland, with legacy news outlets (e.g. BBC Scotland) relying on freelancers or centralised operations (e.g. Trinity Mirror Regionals), and smaller local news organisations being constrained by financial pressures and “incapable of affording a practice that could have remarkable hyperlocal potential”.


Dr Eddy Borges-Rey (University of Stirling, Life in Data)


6pm (for 6.30pm): welcome, drinks[masked]pm: Introduction to Hacks/Hackers Scotland + get involved[masked]pm: What is data journalism's place in Scotland?[masked]pm: Networking and next steps
9pm: Pub (tbc)

This is an open event and we invite everyone interested in the future of journalism in Scotland to join us. The intention is to organise regular meetups and events across Scotland. This will include show-and-tells, bespoke workshops, hackathons and talks.