A free tool which offers open access to 100,000 public datasets from over 100 countries was released this week by data management and intelligence company Enigma. The tool, called Enigma Public, brings together information from international organizations and federal governments, and local and state governments in the US, spanning subjects such as building permits and fire inspection data, to the contents of shipping containers and financial contributions to political campaigns.
Latin American laws on access to public information are among the best in the world, according to a new UNESCO report. With the exception of Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cuba and Venezuela, most countries in Latin America have laws that guarantee access to official information. The real challenges, the report notes, are in implementation, impact and access.
Source: Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
Assad Zalzali received the 2017 Samir Kassir Award for Press Freedom in Beirut this week for his stories about how corruption has blocked access to schools for thousands of children in Iraq. The annual award honors Lebanese journalist Kassir, who was assassinated in 2005 in Beirut, and is open to journalists from North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf. Finalists were Aseel Sarya and Ahmed Al Wasie, who exposed continued slavery in Yemen. The journalists were supported in their work by GIJN member Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism.
The US-based National Endowment for Democracy will present its 2017 Democracy Award on June 7 in Washington, DC in a ceremony on Capitol Hill. Of the five awards presented, two will be given to investigative journalists. Rafael Marques de Morais, who has been imprisoned in Angola for his work, investigated government corruption and abuses in the country’s diamond industry. Denys Bihus leads TOM 14, a group of investigative journalists in Ukraine, and hosts the anti-corruption TV program, Nashi Hroshi (Our Money).
Journalists from Pakistan and Syria are the winners of the 2017 Knight International Journalism Award. They include Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Karachi-based journalist and filmmaker whose reports led to legislative changes in Pakistan, and Karam al-Masri, a Syrian photojournalist and videographer who persisted in covering the siege of Aleppo through a near-total blackout of news from the city.
Here's a new tool that's getting a lot of attention: Google just released Data GIF Maker, a tool to help journalists make their own data GIFs. GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) are widely used for animated images on websites and social media. Google is making it easy to apply them to data sets, making data visualizations even more available to journalists and storytellers.