At the tender age of 27, John Burn-Murdoch is one of the leading young lights of data journalism in the UK. His brief career to date has already taken in The Guardian, The Telegraph, Which? Magazine, and The Financial Times, where he’s been working in a coveted data journalist role since 2013. Raised in Yorkshire, Burn-Murdoch also channels his passion for spreadsheets and statistics as a visiting lecturer at London’s City University, sculpting the next generation of data enthusiasts. On a crisp December afternoon at Borough Market, he talked to Peter Yeung about the issue of objectivity in data, the risk of cronyism in the data journalism community, and how the FT are unique.
How does the FT differ from other publications?
How did you get into data journalism?
Why are you a lecturer at City University?
— John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) October 20, 2015
The data journalism community is quite tight-knit. What are the advantages and drawbacks?
With its history in computer-assisted reporting, data journalism has tended to be focussed on investigations. But should there be more quick, reactive data journalism?
Is data journalism more objective than other forms of journalism?
How do you establish the line between pushing an agenda and finding a story?
Who is doing the most interesting data journalism right now?
— John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) November 22, 2015
If you could lead your own data team, what would it be like?