One of the first panels I was able to attend at NICAR was about finding narratives in numbers. While data journalism heavily emphasizes numbers and figures, there is still a necessary human factor needed to tell a story. It’s also what gets people interested in a story, especially if it’s full of numbers.
Each panelist shared a story that they had worked on, the data they found, their investigation and then the human side to the story. One of the panelists described the process of finding human impact as looking for the perfect victim. Meaning, who is the person who would be most effected by the data they found and how.
The issue is something that I find to be very important and something that I strive to incorporate into my own reporting. People are going to be more interested and engaged if a story has the human impact, or a perfect victim. I plan to try and apply the methods shared by panelists to my own reporting in order to see how they work in Columbia.