The South African investigative site Oxpeckers uses a combination of data analysis, collaboration, and interactive data visualization tools to tell the most compelling stories about the land and those accused of damaging it. From mining to environmental crimes and wildlife trafficking, it has brought investigative techniques to beats like mining that were once the preserve of business reporters.
Africa’s investigative journalists are playing a critical role in unpacking the continent’s expanding pandemic and have already snapped some governments out of their early complacency on COVID-19 preparedness. However, amid warnings about the potential impact of the virus on the continent’s 1.1 billion citizens, four leading African journalists shared strategies for coverage in this critical time in a webinar attended by reporters from 57 countries.
As part of GIJN’s new series, Making Investigative Journalism Sustainable: Best Business Practices, we are featuring a set of key tips from 10 leading journalists and experts from around the world who are either working to build viable organizations around investigative journalism or work as experts to support these enterprises. Here is Emily Goligoski, Senior Director of Audience Research at The Atlantic (US)
See videos from all 10 experts here. Also, check GIJN’s Resource Center sections on sustainability and fundraising to find useful tips and tools, and case studies on all the issues and more covered here. GIJN will continue to expand its work in this area and we welcome suggestions, feedback, and support. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Instead of writing an entire behind-the-scenes article to explain how you carried out an investigation, consider instead incorporating this information in the investigation itself in the form of “trust nuggets” to reach more readers, writes Trusting News’ Joy Mayer.
What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from November 11 to 17 finds an investigation by The Financial Times uncovering how private health information is being traded online by health sites to big advertisers, The Economist looking at the correlation between Americans’ music preferences and political leanings, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism investigating the government’s algorithmic decision-making, and the data community coming together to highlight excellent female data journalists.
What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from October 21 to 27 finds a panel of leading data visualization practitioners discussing the practice of visualization in an age of disinformation, Kloop exposing how Kyrgyzstani authorities privatized large swaths of a public park with no oversight, and The Guardian highlighting the minimal changes between former British prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with current PM Boris Johnson’s new deal.
What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from October 7 to 13 finds The New York Times tackling the topic of auto emissions as a significant climate problem, The Washington Post mapping the colors of America’s fall foliage across the nation, St. Louis Post-Dispatch sharing its newsroom process in data transparency, and Nicholas Strayer offering a tutorial to build your own cool resume using R.
When the Bureau of Investigative Journalism asked to see a contract between property developers and the North London borough of Haringey, its reporters were disappointed to receive a heavily-redacted document. This was part of a drive by the UK nonprofit to test the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, which gives citizens and journalists the right to access the accounts and related documents of city councils and other local authorities.
Public records sometimes say the darnedest things. One example: A declassified memo from 1977 shows that the NSA wondered if psychics could nuke cities so that they became lost in time and space (yes, like in the post-apocalyptic anime Akira). Other times, it’s what they don’t say — like when the FBI found it necessary to redact the name of Superman’s alter-ego, Clark Kent.
Full Property Guide
Research into property records has played a major role in uncovering corruption. The following sampling, mostly from 2018, shows the variety and importance of investigative reporting in this area. Tracking Official Corruption
“Millionaires Among the Nominees” is a story by the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) based on investigating the property holdings of 121 Bosnian politicians, highlighting the assets of the 10 richest ones. CIN reporters compiled information about the candidates’ property from land records and from asset declarations, combining them into a CIN database of “politicians’ assets.”
Sometimes it’s about tracking down expensive homes owned by public officials and corporate executives, as was done on several occasions by journalists in Armenia. “Skirting Disclosure Laws: Armenian Officials and Their Assets in the Czech Republic” describes a probe conducted by Hetq Online, published by the Association of Investigative Journalists, which also wrote: “Undue Influence?