Share your thoughts: How can open data support free expression online?


Open data—the practice of sharing information for others to leverage for their needs—is the foundation upon which many data driven journalism efforts rest. Infomediaries like journalists have leveraged public information to help citizens discover where to vote, track health outcomes, understand traffic safety, and countless other applications.

Stories and resources like these are only possible because of the data that underlies them. But accessing that information reliably—and indeed building a culture of trust and confidence in that information—requires a broader context of free and open access to the internet.

In this framing, earlier this year at the Internet Freedom Festival, we at IREX found ourselves asking: how can open data support free expression online? Are there ways to bridge the two areas of practice—one focused specifically on sharing data for others to use, and the other on ensuring free and open access to information online—in order to amplify our collective goals?

Data journalists sit at the nexus of these two worlds. Have you explored this relationship before? Share your ideas in this Google Doc.

Questions we’re asking your help to answer include:

  • (Why) is it important for open data practitioners, including data journalists, and internet freedom advocates to articulate and embrace their shared priorities and interests?
  • How is internet freedom an enabler or ally for open data efforts?

Your comments will shape this short report to ensure its content reflects the expertise of leaders in the industries of open data, data journalism, internet governance, and other related fields.

Feel free to add comments directly in the document so other subscribers can see your responses, or send your thoughts to the IREX team at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Image: Anthony Farris.