Data stories. Rethinking journalistic storytelling in the context of data journalism


  • Wibke Weber ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, School of Applied Linguistics
  • Martin Engebretsen University of Agder, Department of Nordic and Media Studies
  • Helen Kennedy University of Sheffield, Department of Sociological Studies



data stories, data visualization, narrativity, storytelling, data journalism, newsroom


This paper addresses the increased use of data and data visualization in newsrooms, which has yielded a new form of storytelling: data stories. In journalism, data stories or storytelling with data are the new buzzwords. What journalists mean by data stories, however, remains blurred. We use the emergence of data stories as an opportunity to describe the changing understanding of journalistic storytelling. Based on interviews with editorial leaders, data journalists, developers, and designers in 26 major news organizations in Europe, we focus on practitioners’ perspective on data stories. In our empirical study, we identified seven key features of journalistic data stories: data, communicative function, the textual-visual relationship, structure and design of a story, interactivity, and the meta-story. These findings contribute to rethinking the narrative approach to journalism.




How to Cite

Weber, W., Engebretsen, M., & Kennedy, H. (2018). Data stories. Rethinking journalistic storytelling in the context of data journalism. Studies in Communication Sciences, 18(1), 191–206.



Thematic Section: Beyond the Myth of Journalistic Storytelling