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United States

21 posts
Medical Debt Letters, Healthcare

News & Analysis

Reading 50,000 Records to Expose a Hospital Bankrupting Poor Patients

When Giacomo Bologna was working on his first freelance story, he reached out to the Fund for Investigative Journalism for help. With a grant to cover his gas mileage, the cost of copying records, and his time, Bologna set up shop in a small room on the third floor of a courthouse in Mississippi and started reviewing paper files to trace a large nonprofit hospital’s practice of aggressively pursuing payment from thousands of poor patients.

Data Journalism

Data Journalism Top 10: Hot Dogs, Ransomware, Earth’s Hottest Places, Miami Building Collapse, Bezos Empire

High vaccination rates in some parts of the world are helping to curb the spread of COVID-19 and allowing communities to resume normal life. But vaccinations can also give a false sense of security, with new variants threatening to prolong the pandemic. Our NodeXL mapping from June 28 to July 4, found Portuguese newspaper Público creating a tool to help readers find out what activities they can do after getting the vaccine at minimal risk. In this edition, we also take a look at a piece examining forest fires in Mexico, an analysis of the worst cyberattacks by Bloomberg, and a lively data-driven essay on same-gender lyrics by The Pudding.

Data Journalism

How We Built the Data Visualization That Brought Brazil’s COVID Deaths Close to Home

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Brazil, a team of data journalists set out to illustrate what the death toll looked like by creating a data visualization that presented something beyond the numbers. The team considered various ways of displaying the story. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how they created At the Epicenter.

Reporting Tools & Tips

GIJN Bookshelf: A Dozen Books for Muckrakers in 2021

At GIJN we’re fortunate to come across various books and reports on the state of the news media and great investigative reporting. Here are 12 of the more interesting recent volumes we’ve found that investigative journalists might want to pick up in 2021, as well as a novel written by an investigative reporter for a little light relief.

Data Journalism

Data Journalism Top 10: March Madness, Trafficking Tigers and Fish, Color Palettes, Vaccine Inequality, Domestic Work

A lack of comprehensive data can seriously hinder efforts to track illicit activities. But persistent reporters will always find a way to get a glimpse of the real picture. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from March 15 to 21 found Oxpeckers investigating the trafficking of tigers in Europe and journalist Ben Heubl offering advice on investigating illegal fishing. We also feature an analysis of the global aviation crisis by the Financial Times, a guide to color scales by visual storytelling expert Lisa Charlotte Rost, and a look into the burden of unpaid domestic work by data analyst Hassel Fallas.

GIJN Webinar — The US Election: What’s at Stake

United States’ government actions and policies at home and abroad affect people’s lives around the world. The outcome of the upcoming November election — not only for president but for the US Congress — will have global impact. In this GIJN webinar “The US Election: What’s At Stake”, the first of two focusing on the US Election, we bring together three American journalists who are digging into American politics to find out what’s at stake and what journalists need to investigate.

How They Did It News & Analysis

How They Did It: Feminist Investigators Go Undercover to Expose Abortion Misinformation

A network of female journalists went undercover in order to investigate what women and girls around the world are told when they approach a crisis pregnancy organization. Some were told they could be killing the next president, others than abortions cause cancer. The investigation revealed the highly sophisticated tactics some centers use to break a woman’s resolve, and how the messaging can be traced back to a Christian charity based in Columbus, Ohio.

Case Studies

Exposing How US Universities Profited from Indigenous Land

A joint investigation by a historian and a journalist revealed that a number of US universities were beneficiaries from land expropriated from Indigenous communities. The authors, Robert Lee and Tristan Ahtone, reveal what tools helped them uncover the story. They built a geodatabase and traced the money to find out where the land had come from and how much was paid for it.