Data Journalism Top 10: Snowless Winter Olympics, Food’s Carbon Footprint, Illegal Mining

Our weekly NodeXL curation of the most popular data journalism stories on Twitter features several climate change-related stories: snowless Winter Olympics, a look at the carbon footprint of popular food, how the world’s largest beef producer is fueling deforestation in the Amazon, and a Climate Promise Detector project reviewing the stance of presidential candidates on climate change in Costa Rica.

Editor’s Pick: 2021’s Best Investigative and Data Stories from Turkey

The Turkish press is enduring a period when the most basic journalism practices are hindered due to the state of emergency, the pandemic, and other issues. Despite this, GIJN Turkish found several praiseworthy stories produced by independent journalists this past year. Here we highlight eight stories chosen for their significance, public interest, their use of investigative tools, data sources and techniques, and their commitment to social accountability.

How to Expose Lies from the Skies Using Satellites and Drones

In a GIJC21 session on using maps and satellite imagery for investigations, three experts explained their approaches to analyzing satellite and drone images, and using open source tools. One of the innovative techniques described led to a Pulitzer Prize this year — for exposing China’s network of Muslim detention centers — while another exposed government deception about fires in the Amazon, and a third literally put a vulnerable community in Africa on the map.

Environmental Crimes - caution tape

Investigating Environmental Crimes and Climate Change

Networks of business interests, government officials, and criminal groups run illegal operations that harm the environment in multiple ways. They drive worldwide illegal trafficking in wildlife and seafood, timber, minerals, hazardous waste, and toxic chemicals. Such environmental crimes are sometimes connected with other criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

Investigating Forest Fires Amid a Data Vacuum in Venezuela

In March 2020, environmental journalist Helena Carpio, leaned out of her window to see Caracas filled with smoke. Something was burning, but no one knew where and there was no official news on what was happening. She started to investigate, and the resulting project analyzed two decades of satellite data on hotspots to explore the when, where, and why of forest fires in Venezuela and across Latin America.

Data Journalism Top 10: Tokyo Olympics, Sand Mining, Elder Care, Russia’s Forests, TikTok’s Algorithm

Our NodeXL mapping from July 19 to 25, which tracks the most popular data journalism stories on Twitter each week, found imaginative data-driven coverage of the Olympics by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other major outlets. In this edition, we also feature a piece by Reuters Graphics on how a Chinese lake has been decimated by sand mining, a cross-border investigation into the billion Euro business of elder care, and a deep dive into TikTok’s secretive algorithm by The Wall Street Journal.

My Favorite Tools: Geo-Journalist Gustavo Faleiros

For our “My Favorite Tools” series, we spoke with Brazilian journalist Gustavo Faleiros, editor of environmental investigations at the Pulitzer Center where he leads the Rainforest Investigations Network (RIN), about mapping deforestation and using data to chart what is happening in global forests.

Covering the Climate Crisis

From the tropics to the Arctic, Indigenous peoples are on the front lines of the climate crisis. Investigative reporting is critical to tell their stories, delve into the causes and effects of global warming, and examine mitigation strategies. Indigenous communities worldwide are witnessing the impacts of warmer temperatures. They are also part of the solution.“Western scientific evidence is now saying what our Indigenous peoples have been expressing for a long time: Life as we know it is in danger,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the US-based Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, in a 2019 Truthout article. Indigenous communities worldwide are witnessing the impacts of warmer temperatures.

Climate Crisis: Ideas for Investigative Journalists

This GIJN resource page aims to encourage more investigative reporting about the climate crisis. In Part 1, we begin with articles that provide concrete suggestions for investigative projects. In Part 2, we have collected challenging commentaries on how the media has handled climate change and what it should be doing better. In Part 3, we provide links to some useful resources aimed at journalists. We welcome suggestions for expanding this resource.

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.