Dataharvest is not just a productive journalistic get-together. It is now also the subject for academic studies, done by German Annett Heft from Freie Universität in Berlin and published in the latest edition of the journal Journalism Studies. Her aim was to see how and why journalistic collaboration sprang up from the ground outside of the big networks – and did so by asking Dataharvest participants and Hostwriter members.
Heft’s study asks why journalists choose to collaborate, how they do it and which advantages and challenges they see. She concludes that “bottom-up collaborations contribute to a normalization of the practice through small-scale, less institutionalized, and less binding forms that enable a gradual transition towards a new mindset in the broader field”, and says about Dataharvest and Hostwriter: The “pioneering platforms foster a developing network of open-minded and multicultural practitioners.”