Data Journalism, No Excuses

LA NACION DATA website is not just a website, it´s a strategy, a project and a team. The strategy has to do with the commitment of using data to tell stories and expand the use of data, preferably open data, to activate demand of public information, in a country that just passed a FOIA law but is still not implemented.

This year we crossed borders inside the newsroom adding platforms to our classic digital and print ones that are: appearing once a week as “LN Data special section” in the new LA NACION + TV channel, appearing in the famous print saturday´s infographic section “At first sight” and sharing every news app we build using our new “data GIFs” in La Nación’s social channels.

The internal strategy is to work in teams with journalists, tv producers and infographers so we just facilitate the data and help in the investigation or analysis, but they are the ones who domain the topic and know how to tell the stories.

Besides LA NACION Data web site serves others opening and updating data series to reuse, and builds calculators and simulators based in public information and algorithms that are difficult to access or understand in raw for our readers. To monitor some topics using data we update our large datasets we call “long term projects” for which we´have developed scrapers, transformation functions and visualizations.

We measure impact if we find untold stories or evidence that produces change, but we also measure impact if we serve others using data as a service to inform, calculate or monitor a public service in a granular way.

Some Examples or our work based on quality of content, frequency and variety of subjects covered:

1. OPEN COLLABORATION to unveil stories from a + 40.000 phone interceptions database related to a terrorist attack that lead to a national prosecutor found dead


2. S.O.S Riachuelo: a never ending story of pollution in the river with 8 million people affected.

3. The nationalization of gasoline in Argentina, reported from 3.8 million rows of data,

4. Four figures to understand who is affected by Trump’s immigration ban

5. Monintoring the ENERGY CRISIS.


6. We played with soccer and rugby data to compare Messi type of goals against 3 other argentinean players, The Americas Cup and most common rugby injuries

7. VISUALISATION: The speeches of Macri: Visualizing and Fact-checking.


a) Calculator for electricity price and b) Credit Simulator

9. EVENT: We hosted the 4th edition of DATAFEST for opening, mining and visualising public interest data.

10. LONG TERM PROJECTS – BUILD ONCE, USE, OPEN, UPDATE, REUSE: We keep on feeding our plaforms Congresoscope, Open Declarations of Assets, Open Data Catalog, Subsidies of Bus Transportation and Daily Open Data Series.


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The death of a prosecutor, 40,000 audio hearings, 2 years and a team.


I. Intro

II. The story (includes major terrorist attack, jewish community, Iranian Government, a President accused and a prosecutor found dead)

III. The collaborative investigation

IV. Analysis

V. Major Findings

VI. The app

VII. Technology

VIII. Impact

IX. Open data

X. Conclusion


I. Intro

How and why we built a database of 40.000 phone interceptions with a closed network of 120 collaborators, to publish a news app of 200 selected audios . 

And there is more to come, and more to support  this effort to hear and classify the 100% of the audios, as the judicial trial has just reopened in December 2016.


II. The story:

Argentina, July 1994, a massive bomb explodes in front of the AMIA, a jewish center in Buenos Aires. The attack kills 85 people and injures 300.

After a long process of investigation, in 2006, a judge orders an international arrest warrant for the accused, most of them members of the iranian government. Immediately, INTERPOL issues red notices to assist the national police forces.  Seguir leyendo

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Open Data Journalism for Change

Since 2011 when LA NACION Data was launched as an open data journalism initiative, its strategy has been the same: to do data journalism AND to open data. The vision we have is that each set of data that is published means that more knowledge is released.

The first step to make datasets famous is to become open data USERS, helping not only journalism but other citizens to do the same.

And if there is no open data, no problem, as we need to become PRODUCERS of the transformed from closed formats to open data. We have to find and convert public information, so we file FOIA requests, we use more than 8 OCR Engines combined with processes that automatize the feed from that close PDF to a dataset passing adding rows in a database per month or daily, and we even type that and open data in special productions repeating our data civic marathons.  Seguir leyendo

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During 2016 and 2017 we started to promote our reporting with Gifs in social media.

We experimented with different formats depending on the  projects.

Some shows a general overview of the visualization, others want to highlight a fact obtained after the analysis.

Please find a selection of them below:


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La Nación Data on live TV

This year we embraced the new tv channel of La Nación to expand our audience reach. We pushed the limits by making cross-platform reporting: print, digital (desktop, tablet and mobile) and broadcast tv coverages.

Members of La Nación’s Data team exposed the data driven stories on La Nación Más, a cable and satellite tv channel that was launched in november of 2016. Our tv segments included visualizations and infographics that were presented on a full HD display with touch control.

Some of our best results:

-Nisman app: After two years of listening, analysing and classifying, and the participation of more than 120 volunteers, we created an app that contains detailed information about the people involved in the former prosecutor Nisman’s accusation including their biographies, topics of conversation and timestamps of the most important parts inside the conversations.


-The use of data for simulation. Interactive government credit, PROCEAR simulator


-Keys for understanding Trump’s immigrant ban. Figures explaining the number of refugees living in United Stated, their nationalities, religious beliefs, and the countries affected by the policy.  Seguir leyendo

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The nationalization of gasoline in Argentina, reported from 3.8 million rows of data

>> Please, first take a look at the published version in Spanish. <<

How was the story of the nationalization of gasoline is the result of a research project of La Nación Data together with the Forum of Argentine Journalism (FOPEA) and the Association for Civil Rights (ADC). With a scrollytelling format we tried to explain how the suppliers were nationalized and what happened to the price when Argentina decoupled from the international price of oil. We reviewed which are the great players of this market and the difference that has the fuel according to where it is bought.

<We made a video to explain the composition of the price with test tubes>

The project is based mainly on the analysis of the prices and sales volumes of gasoline for the entire national territory, as reported by service stations in accordance with Resolution 1104. The database is located on the website of the Ministry of Energy and exceeds the 3,800,000 registered data. Only the data for liquid, gasoline and diesel fuels were worked on for a period of time starting in December 2004 and ending, in this edition, in September 2016.

Thanks to the support of the United States Embassy and the Austral University, and the integrated work between journalists, data miners and designers, we achieved a high level of analytical work with attractive visual resources.  Seguir leyendo

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Calculators and simulators

Technology allows us to present information in more attractive formats, which give the audience the possibility to experienced how news impact on their own reality. The information can become palpable. Face to changes in public services rates, or new state subsidy programs, readers can estimate how current events can affect their lives. For example, the increase of the cost of electric energy can not only be read, but also estimated at the scale of the reader’s own economy.   CALCULATOR FOR ELECTRICITY PRICE

The 2017 edition is the tool that LA NACION has developed to allow neighbors of Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and the metropolitan area to estimate the monthly amount of their consumption. 

Since the beginning of 2016 the updating of rates has been a topic of political and media agenda in Argentina. Why? Because after 10 years of price freeze, the new rates surprised everyone. And knowing how to calculate the new invoice is not easy for everyone. For this we create the calculator.

Fuente: Diario La Veloz

In Argentina there are two different rates for energy. The general and the social rate, whose beneficiaries are retirees, holders of social plans, disabled, unemployed, among others.

In addition with the new government policy of rewarding those who save energy, we offer in our calculator the three possibilities of amounts according to savings achieved by comparing the consumption with the one of the same month of the 2015.

It is a very easy tool to use. With entering the kilowatt hours usually consumed by the user, and pointing out the resident place and the type of rate, the calculator does the rest by applying the prices published in the Official Gazette by the Ministry of Energy. Behind the tool there is a big dataset with the amounts of each category of consumer and type of rate.

Technologies used: HTML5, CSS3, JQUERY, HAMMER.JS


With the new edition of mortgage credits subsidized by the State, the PROCREAR credits, we developed a simulator where readers can check if they meet the conditions to win the loan, and can simulate the amount of a first fee.   Seguir leyendo

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Argentina in the world, the ranking platform

The platform “Argentina in the world” is an application that allows monitoring the behavior of our country with respect to the others. Rankings are ranked by subject and can be embedded in notes responsively.

The various topics can be easily filtered in: Economy, Sports, Education and Society. The platform is relatively new, new themes will open soon.

All rankigns include link to the source, a section with the methodology, the date of last update, and the possibility of downloading the data.

When navigating within each ranking, the user can select up to two countries to compare them through a visual color effect. The addedvalue of this interactive element is the ability to display historical data. 


This application was created to generate upgradeable and reusable rankings. And the storage of all information is done using google spreadsheets. Each ranking has its own dataset, and each one is part of a general index that also lives in a Google spreadsheet.

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Data journalism for sports news

Besides the reports on economics, politics and society; data journalism can also provide interesting information for sports news.

To compare the goals of two great argentinian soccer players, throughout history, and to classify them by type of tournament and movement that provoked the goal; is something that takes time of production but that is not impossible. For that we are the journalists, to process information and to offer an added value when facing news.

Coverage of the America 2016 Cup

Here we share the special that we realized on the soccer career of Leonel Messi, compared to the trajectory of Gabriel Batistuta, Diego Maradona, Hernán Crespo and Sergio Aguero. 


After each match, football fans often comment on what each player’s performance looked like. But would not we draw more objective conclusions if we could analyze passes and movements between players more accurately? That’s where we needed data, and we went for it!


Rugby injuries

Rugby injuriesNot everything is football in Argentina, we are also fan of rugby. That’s why we developed an interactive special where you can learn more about the common injuries suffered by the players of this sport.

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A special event for Open Data

In June 2016 we held the  Datafest 4th edition, an event of opening, mining and visualization of public data destined to journalists, communicators, data miners, designers, programmers and specialists from different areas.

The agenda of the meeting included exhibitions of international referents of data journalism, workshops, open seminars and panels on Open Government issues at national, provincial and citizen level.  Seguir leyendo

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