Data journalism has to do one important thing to prove its worth: it has to matter. And providing data where there is none is a key part of that role.
This is where Documenting Hate comes in. The project, which includes a number of different news organisations and journalists, is designed to change that by collecting, and verifying, reports of hate crimes.
The ProPublica-led coalition so far includes The Google News Lab (where I work), Univision News, the New York Times Opinion Section, WNYC, BuzzFeed News, First Draft, Meedan, New America Media, The Root, Latino USA, The Advocate, and Ushahidi. They are also working with civil-rights groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, and schools such as the University of Miami School of Communications.