How Does Data Scraping Help Journalists to Improve Their Content?

iWeb Scraping Services
4 min readApr 13, 2022

As the network size increases and technology evolves, we can do more and more with the data collected every day. Unusual sources of information have emerged as a result of big data, which, when analyzed, might provide insights into human behavior and consumption habits. Retail, real estate, hospitality, travel, and other businesses have benefited from this. Journalists have just begun to use big data analytics to broaden their coverage and improve their journalistic capacity. Data journalism has developed as a result.

There was a limit to the quantity of data available to a corporation before improved technology for evaluating large amounts of data emerged. Professionals were continually trying to figure out what they were up against and fight with it. With the introduction of speedier big data technology, the number of data sources from which conclusions may be taken is nearly endless. And as a result, journalism’s potential has risen.

From Journalism to Data Journalism

While journalism is the process of researching a topic or event and then disseminating that information in a structured and organized manner. Data journalism may be defined as the gathering of large volumes of data and then using techniques such as filtering, managing, and interpreting that data to provide journalistic details. And it is at this point that web scraping becomes the foundation of data journalism. A large amount of data must be processed and evaluated to produce precise insights with journalistic value.

Reporters are required to maintain a high level of quality, and real-time data extraction enables them to do so while also ensuring accuracy and consistency in their work. Personal internet scraping devices have progressed in leaps and bounds as a result, and the most advanced scrappers now deliver stunning results in seconds.

Any error can have a long-term impact in the area of journalism. It has the power to terminate careers and create a lasting impression, thus reporters must always be truthful with their facts and information. Maintaining perfect accuracy and transparency is critical as the globe grows closer by the minute. Data scraping tools make this process easier and more precise by rapidly and accurately giving all of the necessary information for a certain assignment.

Data Journalism will include three components:

  • The availability of free resources to reduce the cost of computer-based data gathering and insight development.
  • Open availability of information and published material that aids in the removal of access restrictions.
  • Open data is a notion that makes data publicly available through channels such as the internet, government servers, and trade magazines.

The most renowned workflow model of data journalism, the ‘inverted pyramid of data journalism,’ was developed in 2011 by Paul Bradshaw. It defines six separate phases and is known as the ‘inverted pyramid of data journalism.’

  • Obtaining information using the internet.
  • Clean-up the data by running it through a series of logic and variables.
  • Visualize- After the data has been converted, it is shown in the form of static or animated visualizations, trends, patterns, and so on.
  • Publish- combine the graphics to create a seamless tale.
  • Distribute- distributing media from various social media sites, emails, and so on.
  • Measures how much information is consumed to see trends and the different sorts of people who use it.

How Will Web Scraping Benefit Journalism?

Web Scraping services have developed a number of online scraping solutions tailored exclusively for the demands of journalists. Many reporters also create their own scraping services to take use of open resource devices that are easy to set up and can be customized to their requirements and tastes. They have greater control over the quality and legitimacy of the information in this way, and it is more freely available than ever before.

Let’s take a simple example of how data scraping may make reporting easier.

A writer for Journal Metro used a web scraper to compare the prices of 12,000 Société des alcools du Québec items to the prices of 10,000 LCBO products in Ontario for an article.

In another case, a Sudbury reporter sought to examine restaurant food inspectors. Although all of the results of such investigations are available on the Sudbury Health Unit’s website, it is hard to download them all and read through the results for each restaurant individually.

As a result, he created a bot to retrieve all of the website’s results. It went through each of the 1600 results for the Health Unit’s inspections, retrieved the data, and then transferred the information to an Excel file. It would have taken a few weeks if done manually the bot completed it in a single night.

Web Data Scraping is an important part of acquiring information for data journalism.

The evolution of information-owned journalism can build a new path for improved information support to reporters and open up exciting possibilities. Data journalism owes a lot to web data scraping and will continue to owe a lot to it in the future.

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