An Asian version of data journalism?: Uncovering “Asian values” in data stories produced across Asia

Publication Date Oct 12, 2022


Data journalism in Western-centric research has been lauded for its investigative qualities, capable of bringing to light previously concealed information and enabling the press to play its watchdog function. That said, journalism outside the liberal West may operate within vastly different contexts, shaped by different historical experiences, political cultures, and philosophical traditions, thereby creating a different brand of data journalism. This paper examines data journalism practice in Asia specifically, a region known to be home to collaborative press systems that adhere to a set of “Asian values” pertaining to collectivism, social harmony, norm conformity and deference to authority. By examining 210 data stories produced by news outlets in six Asian countries, this study finds that Asian values are displayed in a vast majority of data stories produced in the region, most of which are news stories pertaining to the home country of these news outlets. Continued reliance on government sources for information and a lack of stories that reveal previously hidden information or scrutinize a powerful entity also suggest no strong push to leverage on the investigative qualities of data journalism to produce more “watchdog” journalism; focus is instead placed on the “civic” role of informing the public.


Asian Values Data Journalism Practice In Asia Watchdog Function Norm Conformity News Outlets Social Harmony Philosophical Traditions Historical Experiences Political Cultures

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