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.

Investigating Criminal Justice

In early 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples expressed serious concerns about the systems of justice for Indigenous persons, announcing plans to write a thematic report and inviting public input. Although stories about singular crimes play out daily in the media, it is rarer to see examinations of systemic problems within the criminal justice system.In her call for comments, Victoria Tauli Corpuz cited these “main concerns”:

The lack of effective recognition of, and support for, their systems of justice by local, regional, and national level authorities. Ongoing discriminatory and prejudicial attitudes against Indigenous peoples and their systems of justice. The lack of effective methods of coordination between their justice systems and the State ordinary justice authorities. She intends to address these issues “through an examination of international standards regarding Indigenous customary justice, access to justice, and the right to a fair trial, as well as lessons learned from domestic legislation and judicial decisions addressing Indigenous customary justice, as well as observations and recommendations made by international human rights bodies.”

Corpuz’s outline could well be a guide for investigative journalists.