How Satellite Imagery Became an Indispensable — and Easily Accessible — Tool for Journalists

Satellite imagery has become an indispensable tool in journalism, whether it’s for fact-finding or gauging the impact of a particular situation, reporting on climate events or understanding more about conflict zones, Geospatial tech wiz Anusuya Datta breaks down how satellite imagery has become an indispensable tool, sharing resources and providing guidelines for beginners.

Investigating the Supply Chain

Exposing the connections between the products we buy and the circumstances of their creation has proved to be fertile ground for investigative journalism. In seeking to understand the origins of our food, raw materials and manufactured goods, reporters have uncovered slavery, environmental crimes, corruption and human rights abuses. In this new GIJN resource page, we identify the investigative tools used for tracking the “supply chains” that link fields, oceans, mines and factories with the end products we buy.

New on GIJN: Resources for Finding and Using Satellite Imagery

Satellite are being used by journalists to report on conflicts, climate change, refugees, forest fires, illegal mining, oil spills, deforestation, slavery and many other topics. GIJN’s resource page provides official sources for free satellite images and links to experts who can advise on finding images, using them, handling technical issues and more.

How One Reporter Uncovered the US Role in a Mexico Massacre

In 2011, Miguel Ángel Treviño and his brother Omar, two of the most wanted drug kingpins in Mexico, sent members of the criminal syndicate Zetas to murder and disappear entire families in Allende, Mexico. ProPublica’s Ginger Thompson spent two years investigating the role of the US Drug Enforcement Administration in the massacre by gaining the trust of the citizens in the town.

Journalism’s Deep Web: 7 Tips on Using OCCRP Data

OCCRP Data, part of the Investigative Dashboard, offers journalists a shortcut to the deep web. It now has over 170 public sources and more than 100 million leads for public search – news archives, court documents, leaks and grey literature encompassing UK parliamentary inquiries, companies and procurement databases, NGO reports and even CIA rendition flights, among other choice reading.

How They Did It: The Real Russian Journalists Who Exposed the Troll Factory in St. Petersburg

The reason we know so much about Russian disinformation operations targeting the United States is that some Russian journalists are very good at their jobs. What the world learned about these trolls, it turns out, came not from social media firms, governments or Western media, but from enterprising Russian journalists. Here’s how they first uncovered the Russian troll factory.