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: Simple Google Searches, COVID Contracts, Mining Indigenous Land, Nashville Hot Spots, Blackstone in Berlin

Have you ever noticed how your Google search results now appear with boxes of information extracted from the websites by the search engine? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from November 9 to 15 found The Markup’s new “Simple Search” browser extension, which allows you to view the best results in the “traditional” Google search format. We also discovered a visualization of the connection between members of the ruling British Conservative Party and COVID-19 contracts, InfoAmazonia’s investigation into mining requests in protected Indigenous land in the Amazon, and German daily Der Tagesspiegel showing that the American private equity group Blackstone is a major private property owner in the German capital, Berlin.

What We’re Reading: Greenwald Out of The Intercept, Collaborating on Pandemic Data, and Bellingcat’s Updated Toolkit

For this week’s Friday 5, where GIJN rounds up interesting journalism news in English from around the world, we read about Glenn Greenwald’s resignation from The Intercept, a data journalism collaboration on COVID-19 data which reaches across eight newsrooms, and Bellingcat’s already excellent, and now updated, Online Investigation Toolkit.

Here’s Why Investigative Reporters Need to Know Knowledge Graphs

Across the data science community, knowledge graphs have become a growing phenomenon in recent years, driving many applications including virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. Friedrich Lindenberg, from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, writes about how its data platform Aleph makes use of knowledge graphs to help investigative reporters analyze and cross-reference data.