Montara oil and data journalism

August 2009 saw the start of a large scale oil spill in the Montara oil field in the Timor Sea, with oil slick seeping into the ocean each day for the next ten weeks. A new progress report has looked at how well recommendations from the inquiry into the oil spill have been implemented. It suggests strengthening the principle of ‘polluter pays’, making companies responsible for contamination associated with their productions. Chris Smyth is Healthy Oceans campaigner with Australian Conservation Foundation.

Data journalism maps are blooming across the media pages of the internet, but is their contribution to news reporting equivalent to the work involved? Maureen Henninger is a Senior Lecturer in Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Technology, Sydney. What data is available on the internet, how to seek it out and how to read it is her area of expertise.

With Jessica Minshall
September 2012