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What Makes Governments Resistant to Coups? Transparency.

The relationship between transparency and political stability in democracies is simple: More transparency means more stable democratic rule. As transparency rises, democratically elected leaders are less likely to be ousted through extra-constitutional methods like a coup. In non-democracies the situation is more complicated. But greater transparency still means fewer coups.

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From Research to Publication: A Snap Look at Tips from IRE16

When it’s time to start a new investigation, journalists prepare themselves in different ways: from doing the research to pitching the story to building the narrative. It’s not about a single formula, but about integrating different resources and strategies. Here, we present a selection of the tips presented at the 2016 conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors (#IRE16), useful for starting and developing investigations.


Crowdfunded Journalism: 10 Takeaways from the Pew Study

Last week, the Pew Research Center released Crowdfunded Journalism: A Small but Growing Addition to Publicly Driven Journalism. The report highlights that, while contributions to crowdfunding journalism are modest compared with other categories, it is indeed a growing trend. The report found that crowdfunding represents a new, niche segment of nontraditional journalism, gives voice and visibility to efforts that otherwise would likely slip under the radar, provides new sources of sustainability, and contributes to public engagement.

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Research Desk: Data on Human Rights, Corruption, Terrorism

Time for a new collection of tools and reports. This week we’ve got a human rights database, file conversion for 208 formats, and nine new reports from research organizations, ranging from terrorism and corruption to European migration. Got a suggestion for The Research Desk? Write me at

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The Research Desk: The Latest Databases and Int’l Reports

It’s time for another roundup of resources and research reports that we’ve curated from around the web. Most of these selections are new on the web in the past few weeks. Several of the reports listed below are full of data including visualizations and can be thought of as reference tools for both current and future research.

What Is Data Journalism — Journalists Offer An “Explication”

The good people at the Journalism in the Americas Blog, who just hosted the always interesting International Symposium on Online Journalism, alerted us to a useful new video, “Data Journalism: An Explication.” Here are journalists doing their best to define data journalism.The video comes from Cindy Royal, an associate professor, and Dale Blasingame, a lecturer, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University.

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The Research Desk: UNESCO, SIPRI, and Searching iTunes

The Research Desk is back with another selection of web resources and reports of interest to journalists around the world. This round-up includes a Transparency Portal on UNESCO’s global projects, fact sheets from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and published reports from the U.S. Congressional Research Service and the UK’s House of Commons Library.

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Digging for Truth with Data: Computer-Assisted Reporting

The media’s now widespread embrace of data journalism has made the book Computer-Assisted Reporting as relevant as it was 20 years ago. With this newly revised, fourth edition, Brant Houston has expanded on his previous work. Take a look at how to use the tools of the trade.