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Instagrammable Data: Using Visuals to Showcase More Than Numbers on AJ Labs Instagram Page

posted on 2021-07-06, 21:31 authored by Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-SantosMathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos, Arwa KooliArwa Kooli

News outlets are developing formats dedicated to social platforms that capture audience attention, such as Instagram stories, Facebook Instant articles, and YouTube videos. In some cases, these formats are created in collaboration with the tech companies themselves. At the same time, the use of data-driven storytelling is becoming increasingly integrated into the ever-complex business models of news outlets, generating more impact and visibility. Previous studies have focused on studying these two effects separately. To address this gap in the literature, this paper identifies and analyzes the use of data journalism on the Instagram content of AJ Labs, the team dedicated to producing data-driven and interactive stories for the Al Jazeera news network. Drawing upon a mixed-method approach, this study examines the use and characteristics of data stories on social media platforms. Results suggest that there is reliance on producing visual content that covers topics such as politics and violence. In general, AJ Labs relies on the use of infographics and produces its own unique data. To conclude, this paper suggests potential ways to improve the use of Instagram to tell data stories


Harnessing Data and Technology for Journalism

European Commission

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Al Jazeera Media Institute’s fellowship


Declaration of conflicts of interest

The authors disclosed receipt of the fellowship support for the research from Al Jazeera Media Institute.

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Spain

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Researcher

Lead author institution

University of Navarra

Human Participants

  • Yes


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