This week’s most popular data journalism tweets, as tracked by our NodeXL mapping, were dominated by the Pandora Papers, a global investigation based on one of the largest ever troves of leaked documents. Also surfacing for the week of September 27 to October 3: reporting on damage by a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands, a collection of data journalism podcasts, and a roundup of German election results.
The Pandora Papers investigation — the largest-ever journalistic collaboration — was led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and involved more than 600 journalists from 150 media outlets (many of them are GIJN members). Dubbed an “offshore data tsunami” by the team, the leaks include 6.4 million documents, millions of images and emails, and almost 500,000 spreadsheets. Here’s an explainer on the global effort and how it compares to previous leaks.
NEW: #PandoraPapers reveals the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else.
Brought to you by ICIJ and 600+ journalists, the largest collaboration in journalism history. 🧵 https://t.co/qXMuUcqPc4
— ICIJ (@ICIJorg) October 3, 2021
French Villas, and a Château, for Czech PM
A major revelation from the Pandora Papers concerned billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who faces a general election this week. The Czech Center for Investigative Journalism reported that Babiš used an offshore structure to purchase a number of properties, and even a castle, on the French Riviera. Reporters dug into the complicated scheme Babiš created and went to France to get a first-hand look.
1/11 Andrej Babiš si přes své anonymní offshory s nastrčenými řediteli poslal skoro 400 milionů Kč, za které si poté koupil 16 luxusních nemovitostí ve Francii. Offshorové firmy v Česku nepřiznal a odborníci se shodují, že transakce nese znaky praní peněz.https://t.co/fAzyGXvnR9 pic.twitter.com/34VYFCo9WN
— investigace_cz (@investigace_cz) October 3, 2021
King of Jordan’s Lavish Homes
Another leader named in the papers is Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who is reported to have spent millions on extravagant properties on both US coasts, using a web of offshore accounts to disguise his transactions. The Washington Post reported that the acquisitions were “part of an international buying spree.” Abdullah also purchased lavish homes in the UK, bringing the total to more than $106 million, according to the Post.
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 3, 2021
Foreign Investment in Cambodia
In developing countries, foreign direct investment, or FDI, is often seen as a driver of economic growth and an opportunity to boost employment and create new jobs. But this comes at a cost. Kontinentalist, a site dedicated to telling data stories about Asia, analyzed information from Open Development Cambodia to find that as a result of foreign investment, particularly from China, people have been forced to leave their homes while ecosystems have been devastated by large developments.
Cambodia is attracting tons of foreign direct investment to boost its economy, but the rise of Chinese businesses is pushing its own people out. Read our latest story with data from @opendevcam.https://t.co/7ZpvomOlaU
— Kontinentalist (@konti_sg) October 1, 2021
A volcano erupting in the Canary Islands has devastated more than a thousand buildings as the lava continues to engulf everything in its path. Spanish newspaper El País analyzed satellite images and local land records to create a detailed, interactive map of the lava flow with information about the threat to individual houses, the extent of damage, and predictions about its advance.
🌋 Hemos actualizado el mapa casa a casa con el avance de la lava hasta el mar. Ha alcanzado 980 edificios.
— Kiko Llaneras (@kikollan) September 30, 2021
High-Rise Living in Spain
Almost two-thirds of the Spanish population live in flats, according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Only in South Korea do more people live in collective housing. But why are Spanish cities built vertically? Online newspaper elDiario.es analyzed local housing data and published an interactive project looking at the architecture of cities across Spain. The map is color-coded, with pink representing the tallest buildings while green highlights those with the fewest floors.
1) 🏙️ En España vivimos en pisos. Hoy publicamos en @elDiarioes un proyecto con los datos catastrales de más de 12M de edificios para explicar por qué hemos construido nuestras ciudades en vertical.
— Raúl Sánchez 📈 (@raulsanchezglez) September 30, 2021
Data Journalism Podcasts
Data journalism shows are a relatively new phenomenon in the podcasting world, but there are plenty of good examples worth listening to. Andrea Abellán of DataJournalism.com picked six programs you can enjoy during your next podcast binge session. They include shows featuring experts in the fields of data visualization, data sonification, and storytelling with numbers.
What's on your playlist today? We have some suggestions! Stay up to date with this Top 6 List of the best #datajournalism #ddj #podcast you should be listening to. Includes great picks like @AlliTorban, @visualisingdata, @smfrogers, @AlbertoCairo & more👉https://t.co/GeWRYG5ljQ pic.twitter.com/DlS6j5WeqU
— DataJournalism.com (@datajournalism) September 30, 2021
German Election Results
Is it going to be the “traffic light coalition” or perhaps “the Jamaica coalition”? After the recent Bundestag election in Germany, the nation is waiting to find out which parties will join forces to form the next government and who will succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel. Regional paper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung published a detailed roundup of the election results, including voter turnout, allocation of seats, and a map with all constituencies.
— Max Boenke (@mx_boenke) September 27, 2021
Scottish Care Homes
An investigation by the BBC found that last spring, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 200 Scottish care homes took in hospital patients who had not been tested for COVID-19. The move freed up hospital beds, but raised concerns that the virus was spread to highly vulnerable care home residents, many of whom are elderly. The reporting is based on data from Public Health Scotland, which BBC Scotland requested 11 months ago, and can be explored on this interactive dashboard.
Data obtained by the BBC from Public Health Scotland provides the clearest picture yet on which homes took in untested and positive coronavirus patients.
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) October 1, 2021
The Impacts of Climate Change
Climate change, widely regarded as the single biggest threat to contemporary society, poses dangers so wide-reaching that many people struggle to grasp how it affects life on Earth. This project by the UK-based website Carbon Brief makes it a little easier to understand. The outlet compiled data from around 70 peer-reviewed climate studies to show how nature, societies, and ecosystems are projected to change at different temperature levels.
Interactive: The impacts of climate change at 1.5C, 2C and beyond | #archive
— Carbon Brief (@CarbonBrief) September 29, 2021
Peter Georgiev is GIJN’s social media and engagement editor. Previously, he was part of NBC News’ investigative unit in New York. He also worked as a correspondent for Bulgarian National Television and his reporting has been published by the Guardian, Deutsche Welle, and other international outlets.