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Comunicar Journal 47: Communication, Civil Society and Social Change (Vol. 24 - 2016)

Professional information skills and open data. Challenges for citizen empowerment and social change


The current process of social transformation is driven by the growth of the culture of transparency and accountability, the socio-technological development of the web and the opening of public data. This situation forces the media to rethink their models of social intermediation, converting the growing open data access and user participation into new instruments that facilitate citizen empowerment. Open data can only generate citizen empowerment, facilitate decision-making and democratic action if it can provide valueadded information to the citizens. Therefore, the aim of the research is to analyse the competencies necessary to develop information products created with open data. The study used a qualitative methodology based on two instruments: a survey of data journalism experts (university professors of journalism, journalism professional data, and experts in transparency), and an analysis of selected cases of information products created with open data. The results allow the identification of a series of conceptual, procedural and attitudinal skills needed to perform the tasks of collection, processing, analysis and presentation of data, which are necessary for the development of this type of information product, and which should be integrated into the training of future journalists.