One of the complaints that I hear from editors when I am training their teams is “they won’t pick up the phone”.
Some journalists (maybe even many journalists) have always been reluctant to pick up the phone. It’s a lot easier to write about your own experiences than it is to track someone down and ask them awkward questions.
And the internet has made it even easier to avoid the phone. All that information at your fingertips and no human interaction required: result.
Which is not to say that the possibilites that the web brings for unearthing stories from data don’t have the potential to change the way journalism operates. They do, as Paul Bradshaw points out in his blog.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to talk to the people behind the data.