Data Journalism Top 10: A Stunning COVID Data Blunder, Beautiful News, Arctic Fires, Eviction Abuses, Isolating Students

The advancement of technology and availability of complex data tools has been a real boon to society, but utilizing the wrong tools for the job can have dire consequences. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from October 5 to 11 finds British media organizations the BBC and the Guardian reporting on a blunder by the English national health authority: it used the wrong Excel file format to store data, resulting in the loss of thousands of COVID-19 test data results. Meanwhile, German television news program ZDF heute highlighted how the Arctic has reached record high temperatures this year, DCist and Spotlight DC examined problems in the process of evictions, and we find Information is Beautiful offering a daily feed of uplifting news among the gloom of 2020’s news cycle.

Data Journalism Top 10: Black Voter Suppression, K-Pop, Data Privacy Rights, and Global Coronavirus Deaths

Personal data is big business, and not only for private firms. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from September 21 to 27 finds a number of troubling investigations: Channel 4 News revealed that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign used personal data from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to deter Black voters from casting their ballot; Consumer Reports found that companies were making it difficult for people to opt out of having their data sold despite a landmark California law that protects individual data rights; and Noteworthy and The Business Post highlighted a concerning lack of clear regulation surrounding access to, and use of, genetic and patient data by private firms.

New GIJN Online Series Starts September 2020

Since the start of the pandemic, GIJN has produced more than 40 free webinars in 7 languages designed for journalists covering the COVID-19 crisis. Come September, GIJN will expand its online offerings on a range of new topics, with continued coverage of the pandemic.

Data Journalism Top 10: Unequal Pandemic Impact, COVID Contracts, Tainted Water, Data Ethics

Which communities are most economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from May 25 to 31 finds the Toronto Star looking at the effects of Canada’s lockdown on different communities in the country, ProPublica sharing a tool that lets you explore United States federal government contracts related to the coronavirus, the Financial Times analyzing excess mortality in 19 countries, and the Knight Center for the Journalism in the Americas offering a free online course on ethics in data journalism.

Data Journalism Top 10: Herd Immunity, Coronavirus in Prison, Elder Abuse, Journalism Rock Stars, Layoffs

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen heated debate on whether to best solve the health crisis through “herd immunity” — the indirect protection that occurs when much of a population becomes immune to infection. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from May 11 to 17 finds FiveThirtyEight creating a simulation calculator which shows that getting to herd immunity without a vaccine isn’t quite that simple; The Marshall Project tracking COVID-19 cases and deaths in prisons across America; the BBC’s Media Show highlighting data journalists as the media’s latest rock stars; and Istories and MediaZona examining elder abuse in Russia, which experts fear may worsen during the pandemic with so many people staying home.

Data Journalism Top 10: Coronavirus Super-spreaders, Massive Unemployment, COVID-19 Life Expectancy, Violent Cops

Economies around the world have taken a big hit as countries implement lockdown measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from May 4 to 10 finds The New York Times looking into businesses that could be potential infection super-spreaders, and the alarmingly high unemployment rate, while German news media NDR and ZDF heute have examined lost life expectancy due to COVID-19 and the importance of intensive care beds. While Reuters published an important analysis into the use of little-known law that is increasingly being used to grant immunity to police who have used excessive force.

Investigative Journalism on the COVID-19 Crisis

Journalists around the world are investigating many angles of the coronavirus pandemic. GIJN has collected some of the best reporting to date, hoping these 50 examples from 17 countries will inspire even more investigative journalism.