Attention data journalists: Lindita Camaj of the University of Houston's Communication Department is doing an international survey to better understand data journalism practices in newsrooms across different media and political system. The initiative hopes to include a thousand data journalists worldwide. GIJN followers are invited to participate. Called "Global Initiatives in Data Journalism in the Age of Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities," the project aims to "explore means by which public policies on transparency and open-government impinge on news-work."
Source: University of Houston
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has become the first person charged under the US Espionage Act who is not a government leaker, indicted this week under 17 counts for publishing classified information. Alarmed press freedom groups warn that the action in effect criminalizes actions that investigative journalists do on a daily basis. The charges are "a direct threat to news gathering, journalists, and news organizations who do that for the public benefit," said Gabe Rottman of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union called the indictments an "extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration's attacks on journalism, and a direct assault on the First Amendment." And the Committee to Project Journalists warned that the move "strikes at the heart of the First Amendment and puts all journalists in extreme danger."
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) has launched a new cross-border journalism platform called “Reporting Democracy.” Its coverage will extend from the Balkans to the Visegrad countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia). The platform’s goal, according to editor Timothy Large, is “to put rigorous, fact-based journalism to work in exposing the trends and developments that will shape democracy, for better or for worse, and to look at things from a cross-border perspective.” The project is supported by ERSTE Foundation, which is the main shareholder of Austrian bank Erste Group.
Source: Balkan Insight
The 78th annual Peabody Awards were given out on May 18 at a ceremony in New York, highlighting some of the best storytelling on TV, radio and the web. A number of international investigations were rewarded in the news and radio/podcast categories, including BBC Africa Eye’s “Anatomy of a Killing,” an open source investigation of a viral video that showed Cameroonian soldiers killing two women and their children; Caliphate, a New York Times podcast about the rise and fall of ISIS; and “The Plastic Problem,” a PBS NewsHour documentary about how plastic affects ecosystems worldwide. GIJN member ProPublica won a new award called the Catalyst Award for its reporting on family separation at the US/Mexico border that led the Trump administration to halt its “zero tolerance” separation policy.
Source: Peabody Awards
Soundtrap, a music-editing software company owned by Spotify, launched a new product this week that’s designed to make podcast editing easier. Soundtrap for Storytellers is a web-based podcast production tool that allows users to record, edit and master their audio. Its most impressive feature is how simple it’s supposed to make editing: podcasters can just cut words out of an automated transcript of their conversation, and the changes will be automatically reflected in the audio. Designed to function like Google Docs, it’s collaborative, letting multiple people edit a project at once.
Source: The Verge
Wa Lone, 33, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 29, are now free. The two Reuters reporters spent more than 500 days behind bars after they were convicted to seven years in prison for breaking Myanmar’s Official Secrets Act. Before their arrest, the pair had been investigating the killing of 10 Rohingya Muslim men and boys by security forces and Buddhist civilians. Throughout their imprisonment, Reuters as well as press freedom and human rights advocates campaigned for their release. They were freed May 7 as part of a presidential amnesty for 6,520 prisoners. “I’m really happy and excited to see my family and my colleagues. I can’t wait to go to my newsroom,” Wa Lone told reporters as he left prison.