Reporter’s Journal: Transparency for Some, Opacity for Most


On August 14, the Sao Paulo State Water Company (Sabesp) released a note on its website, bragging about winning the Transparency Trophy. It’s an annual prize granted by Brazil’s National Association of Finance, Administration and Accounting Executives. This struck some Brazilians as hard to believe. Sabesp, a publicly held company, has been notoriously unclear about the chronic water shortages faced by millions of people in Brazil’s largest state, Sao Paulo, since mid-2014. It is the same company that refused, from December 2014 to March 2015, to release information on the state’s major state water consumers. Continue Reading →

Top Ten #ddj: The Week’s Most Popular Data Journalism Links


What's the data-driven journalism crowd tweeting? Here are the top ten links for August 10 to 23: Africa ddj Initiative (@justinarenstein); mapping UK/Ireland pubs (@CityMetric); Amazon's end (@InfoAmazonia); L.A. trash (@latimes); NSA patents (@alice_corona); Hacktivist toolbox (@POLITICOEurope). Continue Reading →

Muckrakers from Record 100 Nations Heading to Lillehammer

GIJC15 Map

We've passed the 100 country mark! That's how many nations will be represented when investigative journalists gather in Lillehammer this October for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference. What that means is GIJC15 will be the most diverse international gathering ever of muckrakers from around the world. Check out the map of attendees that SKUP's Jen Egil Heftoy put together. This is not yet complete -- we're still working to bring people from the rest of the world. Continue Reading →

Reporter’s Journal: A Malaria Arrest


What happens when a journalist investigates treatment facilities for malaria patients in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo? For Francis Mbala, it led to his arrest and a Kafkaesque tale about the dangers of investigating in one of the world's most corrupt countries. Mbala's story comes from the ZAM Chronicle and is reprinted with permission. Continue Reading →

Research Desk: Nuclear, Health Databases, New Int’l Reports


Time for a new collection of resources and research reports. Today's roundup features two online databases -- one on nuclear reactors, the other on health -- and the latest international research reports from Brussels, London, and Washington. Global Health Facts from the Kaiser Family Foundation is an organized and frequently updated collection of browsable and searchable data. Continue Reading →

Journalism or Propaganda: Let’s Help Russian Media the Right Way


As a rule, media development grants are not news. But a number of Russia’s leading newspapers, including Izvestia and Moscow Times, reported last week that the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania (@USEmbVilnius) has announced that $500,000 is being made available to regional media organizations to combat Russian propaganda. Izvestia pointed to the grant as proof that the U.S. Government is also involved in propaganda and have called the grant anti-Russian. Although not widely known, Western governments -- including the United States -- are the largest donors to media. They spend tens of millions of dollars per year to help promote independent media, often through grants to large media development organizations in developing and transitioning countries around the world. Continue Reading →