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

 DATA AS EVIDENCE:

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.

SPORTS:

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.

8. USE OF DATA FOR SIMULATION: NEW INTERACTIVE DATA CALCULATORS

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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#Datagifs

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

>> Please, first take a look at the the special published in spanish. << 

The explanation and Behind the scenes. 

In the Spanish colonial era, sheep and mule meat salting factories were built along the Riachuelo river´s banks, along with tanneries that processed cow leather. Dumping waste into the river became a common practice that turned it into a veritable open sewer, which continued with more modern industries like petrochemical plants and the meat-packing industry.

In the last few decades, there were many official promises and a budget assigned to clean up the Riachuelo. The best remembered by argentines was made by María Julia Alsogaray, environment minister under then president Carlos Menem (1989-1999), who announced that they would do it in just 1,000 days. An enthusiastic Menem said that when they were finished, he would swim in the Riachuelo. In the end, the river remained a health threat, Menem decided not to swim, and Alsogaray ended up in prison for corruption.  Seguir leyendo

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Letters to the Presidents

 How this project began

At La Nación Data we are always aware of those areas of government which produce public interest information and, however, are not well known.

If we look at the flow chart of the Government Administration, we found that there was an area named Dirección de Documentación Presidencial (Presidential Document Department). We searched for its creation regulation to see the responsibilities and we found that said department was in charge of receiving all the letters, mails and oral requests addressed to the President of the Nation.

Said department has not any website to show statistics or any information regarding their functions. That is why, we prepared a request for access to public information to access the material concerned: the letters to the President.

Request for access to information

This request took the teamwork of LA NACIÓN Data almost one week, since letters include personal data and we had to be careful enough to avoid the release of such type of information and focus, instead, on the content of the document sent to said department.  Seguir leyendo

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

 

>> Please, first take a look to the published project (in spanish). Thank you! <<

After the immigration ban of Donald Trump, LA NACIÓN Data searched for data evidencing if the measure taken by the new President was supported or not by the information produced on said country as regards the flow of refugees admitted in the United States from 2001 to 2016, the religion of the refugees admitted in said country from 2002 as regards the religion of the country and the number of the persons who committed terrorist attacks in the United States.  Seguir leyendo

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The speeches of Macri: Visualizing and Fact-checking.

>>  Take a look  to the published project “Behind the speech of Macri: checking and findings” . Experiment the look and feel.

Now,

The explanation and behind the scenes

This visualization was the result of great teamwork. La Nación and Chequeado (factcheking NGO) joined efforts to publish a journalistic high impact graphic piece to analyze the speech of President Mauricio Macri on the opening day of regular congressional sessions. After an exhaustive planning and coordination, 60 persons took part in different stages of the project.

Detail of the digital application.

The application consists of 3 tabs containing different analytical approaches: Seguir leyendo

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Visualización: Los discursos de Macri

> Ir a Detrás del discurso de Macri: chequeos y hallazgos

Esta visualización fue el fruto de gran trabajo en equipo. La Nación y Chequeado unieron sus fuerzas para publicar una pieza gráfica de alto impacto periodístico con el objetivo de analizar el discurso del presidente Mauricio Macri en la apertura del año legislativo. Con una exhaustiva planificación y coordinación de las partes, participaron 60 personas en las distintas etapas del proyecto.

 

DETALLE DE LA APLICACIÓN DIGITAL

La aplicación consta de 3 pestañas con diferentes enfoques analíticos:

Chequeo de datos

Focos discursivos

 

Ejes temáticos

 

ETAPAS DEL PROYECTO

Previo al discurso: En esta etapa se diseñó el mockup de la aplicación y se realizó la maquetación y programación utilizando HTML, CSS y Javascript. Se crearon varios Spreadsheet de Google Drive para que ambos equipos, el de Chequeado y el de La Nación, pudieran trabajar en paralelo desde diferentes lugares físicos, optimizando así el tiempo de trabajo. En las semanas previas al evento se trabajó coordinando y probando el paso a paso que se daría en vivo, entre el Lab de Innovación de Chequeado y el área de La Nación Creativa, para que todo funcionara de manera fluida en los minutos posteriores a que hablara el presidente Mauricio Macri. También se diseñaron gráficos con sets de datos de temas sensibles al gobierno con la posibilidad de ser sumados a la aplicación, siempre y cuando fueran mencionados en el discurso presidencial, como ser: Inflación, pobreza, jubilaciones y pensiones, etc.

Durante el discurso: El equipo de Chequeado realizó el chequeo colectivo en vivo, integrando la carga de información en el flujo de trabajo de ese día en el que se comenzaron a publicar chequeos y notas. Como resultado se llegó a un total de 25 chequeos y 2 explicadores. Para el chequeo en vivo se reunieron más de 50 personas entre especialistas, periodistas, voluntarios y equipo de Chequeado en la Universidad Torcuato Di Tella donde se proyectó el discurso del Presidente. Se realizaron síntesis basadas en los chequeos, pero adaptadas a la extensión necesaria para su correcta visualización, más la carga de los minutos y segundos de cada frase en video, la calificación y el link a la nota en el Spreadsheet antes mencionado

Finalizado el discurso: La aplicación se subió on line en etapas según se había previsto, ya que las 3 pestañas tenían diferentes tiempos de armado. La primera en subir fue la de chequeo de datos (a cargo del equipo de Chequeado), luego la de focos discursivos y casi en simultáneo con la anterior, ejes temáticos.  

 

PLATAFORMAS DE PUBLICACIÓN

La aplicación se publicó primero en la plataforma digital (formato desktop, tablet y mobile), y al día siguiente, en una doble página en la versión impresa del diario LA NACIÓN.

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Breaking news: Tragedia aérea de Chapecoense

>Ir a la Tragedia aérea de Chapecoense – 29/11/2016 

El principal objetivo de la cobertura visual de esta tragedia fue poder mostrar en forma sencilla el trayecto recorrido por la aeronave, el lugar del accidente y cantidad de víctimas.

Para eso, utilizamos una plantilla HTML con un Javascript creada especialmente por nuestro equipo de desarrolladores. Dicha plantilla puede ser alimentada en forma simultánea por periodistas y diseñadores, pudiendo sumar desde un Google spreadsheet, textos, mapas, fotografías, videos e iframes de distintos tipos.

La cobertura se publicó primero en la plataforma digital (formato desktop, tablet y mobile), y al día siguiente, en la versión impresa.

DETALLE DE LA PIEZA VISUAL

El mayor impacto visual está dado por el mapa tridimensional de la tierra capturado desde el Google Earth; allí se graficó la altitud alcanzada por la aeronave en cada uno de sus tramos y su posterior caída. Los datos de altitud fueron tomados desde el sitio flightradar24.com.

Ya subida la primer versión en la plataforma digital, se sumó una infografía con el detalle de las características técnicas del avión. Debajo, un friso con la cantidad de víctimas fallecidas y sobrevivientes que se iba actualizando a medida que llegaba la información en vivo.

Rapidez > Se subió la primer versión de la cobertura visual sólo algunas horas después del accidente. Luego se fueron sumando otras piezas y/o mejorando lo ya subidas.

Coordinación > El equipo periodístico y visual trabajó en forma simultánea en la misma plantilla logrando una rápida publicación digital y posterior indexación en Google.

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