Data thinking has been on the rise for some time. The introduction of Google Analytics in 2005, followed by the launch of all kinds of other analytical tools, has ensured that data continues to play an increasingly important role in news production. Journalists know how often their articles have been clicked on, how long their articles have been viewed, and even where their readers come from and what devices they use. Some editors have embraced this development.
Lucas van Houtert, editor-in-chief of Brabants Dagblad, believes that all this data will enable journalism to respond better to the needs of the public. Other journalists are less enthusiastic. They fear that the focus on data will lead to clickbaiting and a reduction in quality. In the project Journalism by the Dashboard Light, researchers Jeroen van de Nieuwenhof and Jessy de Cooker delve into this dichotomy. Where is the balance between strengthening democratic citizenship and entertaining the widest possible audience?