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.

How They Did It: Inside a Mega-Collaboration on the US-Mexico Wall

More than 30 journalists set out to film and observe every foot of the border with Mexico, from Texas to California. The result was a fully interactive map with about 20 hours of aerial footage of the border, a seven-chapter story about the journey, 14 additional stories about the consequences of the wall, 14 mini-documentaries and an explanation of the history of the border itself. Here’s how they did it.

How They Did It: Developing a Data-Driven Navigator on Gun Laws

Last August, Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit research and advocacy group for gun control, launched the Gun Law Navigator, an exploratory data visualization tool explaining how states in America regulate guns. The project, developed by the Boston-based creative digital studio Upstatement, received lots of attention not only for examining such a sensitive topic, but also for successfully telling a visual, data-driven story about a complex subject: legislation.

How They Did It: The Azerbaijani Laundromat

In September, the Danish national newspaper Berlingske, in partnership with the OCCRP and other international media partners, exposed a complex money laundering scheme led by Azerbaijan’s elite. The stories revealed that, between 2012 and 2014, $2.9 billion connected to the country was siphoned through European companies and banks. Here’s how they got the story.

How They Did It: Building a Visual Story with a Non-Visual Piece

Australian journalist Rick Feneley wrote a powerful investigative piece about a string of gay hate crimes that plagued Australia’s eastern border. But before “The Gay Hate Decades” was published, Feneley was left with one last hurdle: Creating a digital element to accompany his work. And that’s where SBS web developer Ken Macleod came in.

How They Did It: ProPublica’s Engagement Journalism

There is power in a crowd, and harnessing crowd contributions have become increasingly useful in investigative journalism. New York-based ProPublica shows how newsrooms are integrating crowdsourcing as a routine reporting tool, using it for data collection and to connect with and gather personal stories from readers.

How They Did It: Reuters’ Database of Taser Deaths

A team of Reuters reporters, editors and data analysts reviewed the results of hundreds of autopsies and filed hundreds of public records requests involving deaths by Taser in the US. The result? Not only did the investigation catalogue 1,005 deaths, but it ended up building the most comprehensive database ever on Taser-related deaths.

How They Did It: Enslaved Land Investigation

More than 20 journalists worked across four countries to uncover the hidden abuses behind the production of sugar, cacao, bananas, coffee and African palm with slave-like conditions for workers, illegal business practices and sustained environmental damage. Here’s how they did it.