Transparency in informative content. An analysis of methods in Spanish data journalism (2019-2022)


  • Félix Arias Robles Miguel Hernandez University
  • Cristian Ramón Marín-Sanchiz Miguel Hernandez University
  • Andrea Abellán-Mancheño Miguel Hernandez University
  • José Alberto García-Avilés Miguel Hernandez University


The crisis of confidence in journalism has increased hopes of internal transparency. The technical possibilities of data journalism and its background in social sciences support the values of openness and transparency. This study focuses on the daily journalism produced by the data units of the Spanish media (n=10) between January 2019 and April 2022. Through analysis of quantitative and qualitative content of a random sample of articles (n=62), this study explores the transparency of sources and the use of a methodology section. The results reveal an unequal and, on many occasions, infrequent use of elements such as an explanation of the research process or the possibility for data download. A greater use is observed in native online media and small and specialised projects, with certain exceptions, reflecting the reluctance of some media to implement the new “transparency rituals” and the greater importance of attitude and individual initiative rather than resources. Finally, an ambivalent influence of COVID-19 is detected in these practices, which suggest a critical view of data journalism and the evolution of its transparency.


data journalism, transparency, methodologies, social sciences, open source, COVID-19


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