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Independent Media in Asian Democracies Battle Internet Rules

Independent news organizations in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea are experiencing both direct and indirect challenges in cyberspace, from content blocking to censorship and self-censorship. Edgardo Legaspi, executive director of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, says threatened governments are “playing catch-up” after recognizing that the Internet can be an effective tool for voices to be heard.

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Six Open Data and Accountability Tools for Africa

At this year’s Highway Africa — the continent’s largest annual gathering of journalists — watchdog groups showcased a host of open data and accountability tools aimed squarely at Africa. Here are six of them, developed by Code4SA and presented by Wellington Radu of Media Monitoring Africa and Levi Kabwato of the Open Democracy Advice Centre.

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

What’s the data-driven journalism crowd tweeting? Here are top links for Aug 9-14: NYT interactives (@archietse); Trump’s tweets (@drob); Olympics data viz (@thegamma_net); Kenya teen abortions, HIV (@dailynation); Mapbox (@mcrosasb); US household debt (@lenkiefer); & more.

Image via Bellingcat

Getting Started in Online, Open-Source Investigations

At First Draft, we frequently receive emails from a whole range of people asking how they can start doing the sort of online open-source investigation and verification that they’ve seen us doing. The skills and methodologies used are all something that can be learnt through a little persistence, but here are a few pieces of advice to get you started.