Visualizing Investigative Journalism

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Investigative journalists in the “Lighting rounds: Visualization” had five minutes each to present their projects which use different visualization techniques. Below, a recap of some of the highlights.

Creative ways to fight corruption
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Islam Alzeny makes people aware of how corruption affects them through creativity.

Islam Alzeny is a freelance journalist from Egypt. His project “Corruption-Free Society” raises awareness among people on the topic of bribery and corruption.

“The goal is to raise awareness  and to show people how it affects them. We have writers from twelve Arabic countries who write simple and creative articles. We also use art and caricatures to fight corruption in a new way.”

 

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“Corruption-Free Society” also holds competitions for journalists and talents

 

The use of visualization in this project shows corruption in an innovative way using simple and creative materials which target citizens directly. The project has been a great success, having obtained high viewing rates, reaching millions. Alzeny says the project has helped raise awareness among young people who are now taking part of the discussion about corruption. In a survey the project conducted in Tunisia, 40 percent of respondents said they have paid bribes, while 70 percent said they cannot live without it in their society.

Political decision-making in charts

Rodrigo Burgarelli is a Brazilian programmer and journalist. His team has developed a website that shows politicians’ voting patterns, in terms of whether they vote in favor or against the government.

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A chart that portrays a politician’s vote.

“We show which parties support the president and which ones do not by using visualization. You click on the small balls on the chart and get the profile of a politician. There is a lot of variation in the results, but it also shows how the main parties that supported the president actually also voted in favor of him in most cases.”

Card-game fact checks politicians

Through a traditional South-American card game, Agência Pública, a Brazilian agency of investigative journalism makes politicians show their hidden cards.

“We came up with the idea collectively, we wanted to be able to challenge the politicians and thought of a way we could make it popular. That is how we came up with the idea of using the Truco game.”

The game called “Truco” consists of several different cards which question statements or proposals made by Brazilian politicians. Natalia Viana is the co-director of Agência Pública.

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“Parliamentary in Crisis”  is an example of a card in the political version of the Truco-game

“We use social media strategies to engage the audience. There has been a lot of shares and discussions, creating political debates. Now we are applying the Truco game in Congress. We follow up everyday on what congressmen are talking about, fact- checking their statements, and making them answer to them.”

 


The authors are journalism students at the University College of Volda who are on special assignment covering #gijc15.  

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