Henk van Ess on Visual Thinking for Online Investigations

In a recent GIJN webinar, open source reporting expert Henk van Ess shared several online search tricks. But he explains that these work-arounds are merely tools for a new approach to online research that he calls “thinking visual,” which invites reporters to think of keywords like a search engine, rather than a person.

Data Journalism Top 10: From Newsroom to Netflix, Inside the Capitol Riot, Vaccine Data, Facebook for News

As governments around the world continue vaccination efforts and extend lockdowns, some experts argue that more data is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of immunization campaigns and mobility restrictions. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 11 to 18 found outlets in Germany and the United Kingdom analyzing government measures to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this edition, we also feature an insightful interview with former Washington Post journalist Aaron Williams, an interactive timeline of the US Capitol riot by ProPublica, and a refreshing data visualization project by The Pudding.

Data Journalism Top 10: National Geographic Maps, Capitol Riots, Flu vs. Coronavirus, Happiness Index, Black Market Data

Scenes of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump storming the US Capitol building dominated news headlines and filled social media feeds last week. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 4 to 10 found Reuters producing a play-by-play summary of what happened, and FiveThirtyEight examining the stark difference in reaction by the authorities to the Capitol mob compared to Black Lives Matter protesters. Also in this edition, we feature National Geographic’s cartography archive, Data Crítica’s investigation into under-counting of Indigenous COVID-19 infections, and The Markup’s analysis of the impact of Facebook’s political ads.

Distribution & Syndication through Online Platforms

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“Syndicating” content is one way for investigative journalism organizations to widen their readership, increase their visibility, and earn revenue. Arranging such republishing is more feasible and beneficial for established organizations, especially when it comes to online distribution by the tech behemoths. The traditional model of syndication is to place a specific article with a larger publisher, but finding willing publishing partners is not always easy, even if the price is right. For more on Distribution, Promotion, and Freelancing, see our GIJN Guide.There’s testimony on this point from an Italian independent investigative journalism outfit, Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI), profiled by Michele Barbero for GIJN in 2020. “Convincing the Italian media to publish us has always been very difficult,” said Cecilia Anesi, IRPI’s co-founder and president.