The U.S.-based Investigative Reporters and Editors has announced winners of the 2017 Philip Meyer Awards. The coveted awards "recognize the best work using techniques that are part of precision journalism, computer-assisted reporting and social science research." First place went to a Chicago Tribune investigation that uncovered gaps in pharmacy safety, followed by a ProPublica analysis of bankruptcy data revealing how black Americans are far less likely to gain relief from creditors than their white peers. Third prize went to Germany's Bayerischer Rundfunk and Der Spiegel for exposing discrimination against foreigners in Germany’s housing market.
The European Commission has granted €1.95 million to two media initiatives designed to report, share and translate data journalism stories across the continent. The grant is split about evenly between the European Data Journalism Network, run by major media and NGOs, and the European Data News Hub, run by major wire services. The hubs will help with translation, visualization, and distribution. They include a dedicated Slack channel and a virtual help desk.
A just released Knight-Gallup survey finds that over 80% of Americans believe the news media have an important role to play in democracy, but 66% says the press does a poor job separating fact from opinion. Large numbers, moreover, cite bias and fake news as major problems. But good news for muckrakers: The survey, of over 19,000 U.S. adults, also found 59% felt there was "not enough investigative journalism to uncover important facts," with majorities agreeing on this regardless of age and political affiliation.
Source: Gallup/Knight Foundation
What's being billed as the first Arab data journalism conference is set for this March 6-8 in Cairo at the American University. Journalists from across the Middle East are invited to a groundbreaking event to train and brainstorm about how to use data skills in the service of investigative reporting. Travel grants are available for both students and professionals.
In a blow to press freedom, Philippine officials have revoked the corporate registration of Rappler, one of that nation's leading online news sites. The innovative and hard-hitting Rappler has gained worldwide attention for exposing the extent of extra-judicial killings under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. Citing "foreign ownership" by the US-based Omidyar Network, the move by officials evokes memories of anti-media attacks during the Marcos Regime of a generation ago.
Source: New York Times
Russia's far-ranging intrusions to undermine democracy in Europe and the United States are detailed in a new report by Democratic Party staffers of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. This disturbingly detailed 206-page report on Russian interference relies heavily on investigative reporting by independent media, including GIJN members OCCRP, Re:Baltica and ProPublica. The report describes Kremlin use of state foundations, NGOs, think tanks, political extremists, the Russian Orthodox Church, the energy industry, organized crime and corruption.
Source: US Senate