It wasn’t too long ago that leaders of some news organization could be heard complaining, loudly, that Google was “stealing” from publishers and that search engines and aggregators needed permission to post excerpts of news stories.
Flash forward to this week and the Wikileaks data on the war in Afghanistan. How are the Wikileaks data logs being shared with the public by news organizations? Via GoogleDocs Spreadsheet — at least that’s what The Guardian (note, it is British) did.
I’m 99% certain that Google did not envision data-driven journalism as a use case when it began developing its in-the-cloud competitor to Microsoft Excel. But when you think about it, what better way for public interest journalism to share its data?
- The Guardian : How our datajournalism operation worked
Article embeds a Google Spreadsheet and links to a spreadsheet with data summary. Note: article also embeds a Scribd document.
- The Atlantic : Wikileaks Data on Afghanistan Deaths Visualized
“We also created a Google spreadsheet of the first 100 rows of data to give people a sense of what’s in there.”
- PC World : Wikileaks Offers Data To Map Afghanistan War Screw-ups
References The Guardian’s release of data