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Texty Nodal Analysis of Anti-Ukraine:Pro-Russia Influencers in US
Texty Nodal Analysis of Anti-Ukraine:Pro-Russia Influencers in US

Image: Screenshot,



Data Journalism Top 10: Analyzing Opposition to US Aid for Ukraine, Algorithm to Flag Illegal Timber, Modi’s Lost Support, and Elections in Europe

Reporters at the Peruvian investigative outlet OjoPúblico built a tool to analyze a large trove of timber data to measure the risk of these transactions being illegal. Texty, an independent media outlet from Ukraine, collected and analyzed public statements over two years to determine the false narratives surrounding the issue of US sending aid to Ukraine. And the Washington Post spent a year digging into court records and other documents to find out what happens to police officers who sexually abuse children. In this edition of our Top 10 in Data Journalism, which considered stories between June 3 and 16, we also highlight the gains and losses in elections — from examining growing support for the far right in parts of Europe, to exploring the shrinking base of support for India’s ruling party.

Algorithm to Flag Risk of Illegal Amazon Timber

Image: Screenshot, OjoPúblico.

The investigations team at OjoPúblico, a GIJN member from Peru, analyzed more than 2.5 million pieces of commercial timber data stretching back over 15 years. The team, consisting of journalists, data analysts, and data scientists, and with the support of expert organizations on forestry issues, spent a year on the project, developing a tool to measure the risk of the timber being illegal. The analysis identified that 55% of the timber traded by forest concessionaires in the Peruvian Amazon had a “high” or “very high” risk of illegality. This story is available in English and Spanish.

Prevalent Narratives for Halting Aid to Ukraine

Image: Screenshot,

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the United States has been providing security assistance to Kyiv to help the nation to defend itself and secure its borders, but some US legislators and political-media influencers have come out strongly against this aid. Ukrainian data agency Texty analyzed public statements and publications from influential public figures and organizations in the US over the past two years in an attempt to understand — and debunk — the false narratives surrounding the opposition of US aid to Ukraine. The site’s nodal analysis triggered a wave of attacks against Texty on the social media platform X, with comments as extreme as calls to defund the group and labeling the group a “terrorist organization.”

Modi’s Faltering Support

Image: Screenshot, The New York Times

Narendra Modi has been sworn in as India’s prime minister for a third term — in a nation where there is no limit to the number of terms a premier can serve. But in the latest election, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not do as well as expected, losing more than 60 seats, forcing the BJP to work with its allies to form a government. The New York Times analyzed the performance of the BJP and mapped the losses in an election that deprived Modi “of the landslide victory he had sought.”

Violence Ripples Beyond Gaza

Image: Screenshot, Axios

It has been eight months since Hamas-led militant groups launched its major attack on Israel. But according to an estimate by the United Nations more than 120,000 people in Gaza have been killed or injured in the resulting Israeli offensive. The conflict, however, has not been limited to the two parties, but has rippled across the Middle East. Axios examines how the Israel-Hamas war has sparked new incidents of violence committed by other militant groups in the region, including in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria.

Adoption System in Peru

Image: Screenshot, El Comercio

More than 194,000 minors were identified as lacking child protection in Peru in the last 10 years. Of that number, only 13% were admitted to state centers while just 1% ended up being adopted by new families. Peruvian newspaper El Comercio examines the adoption system in Peru and the flaws that complicate and delay the process. The interactive story includes perspectives of both the child and the adoptive parents and is told in the style of a “choose your own adventure” book.

Predators Behind a Badge

Image: Screenshot, The Washington Post

The Washington Post identified hundreds of police officers in the US who sexually exploited children over the past two decades but avoided prison time. Journalists spent more than a year digging into court filings, police records, and other documents to find out how the system of accountability failed. The analysis also revealed that the children were often targeted through the course of the officers’ work, even if the actual abuse happened off duty.

Spike in Communicable Diseases Post-Covid

Image: Screenshot, Bloomberg

Are humans getting sick more frequently since the COVID-19 pandemic? The answer is yes, according to a data analysis by Bloomberg News and London-based disease forecasting firm Airfinity Ltd. Based on data collected from more than 60 organizations and public health agencies, the report states that at least 13 communicable diseases, from the common cold to measles and tuberculosis, have surpassed pre-pandemic levels and often by significant margins. The article also explores the correlation between disrupted immunization services during pandemic lockdowns and the surge in diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations.

AI-Generated Anime: Copyright Infringement?

Image: Screenshot, Nikkei.

The boom in AI image-generating software has triggered a pushback from artists who argue that software has been trained from the work of artists without their consent. Japanese newspaper Nikkei analyzed 90,000 images from three image-sharing websites to look at how this evolving technology is threatening Japan’s anime industry. From Pikachu to Mario, the newspaper found about 2,500 images that had multiple similar features to the original anime images, giving rise to the concerns that these images might constitute copyright infringement.

Far Right Parties Gain in Europe

Image: Screenshot, Le Monde

In this bumper year of elections, support for the far right is growing in Europe as evidenced by the recent European parliament elections on June 9. Le Monde summed up how the composition of political groups in the European parliament has changed over the past 10 elections in one chart. A second chart shows how the far right made significant gains in France this election round, increasing from 29.7% of France’s seats to 43.2%.

Analysis of Hungary’s Results in the European Election

Image: Screenshot, Atlo Team

In Hungary, the Fidesz–KDNP Party Alliance, a right-wing national conservative political alliance of two political parties, won about 44% of votes in the EU election — a drop from the last election in 2019 when it obtained more than half of the total vote. Analysts were quick to pinpoint this drop as a signal that the ruling party was losing support. However, according to an analysis by Átlátszó’s data team, this reduction in vote proportion did not mean that Fidesz-KNDP performed badly. In fact, the party actually had an increase in absolute number of votes cast in 2,788 settlements.

Bonus: Tracking Repatriations of Antiquities

Image: Screenshot, Jason Felch on X

The repatriation of antiquities to their origin country has been gaining momentum in recent years, according to former investigative reporter Jason Felch, who launched a virtual gallery to collect, display, and study looted antiquities that have been repatriated since 1950. In a tweet thread, he highlights the countries who are sending artifiacts back, the recipient countries, the institutions involved, and the estimated value of the repatriated objects. It is a collaborative research project, so contributions are welcome.

GIJN’s Top 10 in Data Journalism list is curated fortnightly. Send your suggestions to us.

Eunice Au is GIJN’s global team manager based in Budapest, Hungary. Previously, she was a correspondent for Singapore’s The Straits Times, and a journalist at Malaysia’s New Straits Times. She has also written for The Sun, Malaysian Today, and Madam Chair.

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