Two Research Projects to Transform the World - Data Journalism #25 | Datasketch
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Two Research Projects to Transform the World - Data Journalism #25

Covid-19 | Anti-corruption | Disinformation

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In this issue, we discuss resilience and continuing paths others have blazed. We do so from two perspectives: the first concerns the learning and positive changes left by the pandemic. In the second, we show how when attempts are made to silence a person, new initiatives emerge that make his or her voice more powerful.

New Opportunities

The pandemic has been on our agendas since 2021, and while we would like to stop talking about it, the reality is that it is still present. We are still dealing with its social, economic and health effects, as this poignant data-driven article by Ally J. Levine on the grief of those who lost someone to COVID-19, published a few days ago, shows. 🫶

During the pandemic, many newsrooms jumped into the data journalism pool, showing daily graphs on the progress or regression of this disease. It is a good time to think about institutionalising the capabilities created, using non-traditional data ethically, and maintaining the partnerships established to inform citizens.

It is key to understand the positive changes that have occurred and continue to explore data, not only from a health perspective but also from a social perspective. This is the research aim of Global Integrity and the Center for International Private Enterprise. They want to identify better ways to design and implement anti-corruption programs based on the lessons learned from the pandemic. If you belong to or know an NGO that can contribute to the research, click on the link or forward this newsletter.

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Mercenaries of Disinformation

In 2017, journalist Gauri Lankesh was murdered. It happened days before she could publish an article on disinformation in India. Forbidden Stories, a consortium of more than 100 journalists, and 30 media outlets are picking up that interrupted coverage with the ‘Story Killers’ project.

It is a global investigation that exposes the deliberate dissemination of false information worldwide, with narratives that rely on Big Data. It evidences how manipulation for hire is a new business and a battleground where journalists around the world are threatened, persecuted, imprisoned and murdered.

The consortium traces fake news to its original sources. They identify the mechanisms used in industrial disinformation campaigns, run by state-sponsored entities or private mercenaries, large and small, that spread false information for profit.

  • They tell the story of Lankesh, the smear campaign and judicial persecution he went through, those responsible for it, and the subsequent assassination.
  • They investigate a top-secret Israeli company involved in election rigging and hacking African politicians.

In short, they continue Lankesh’s investigation into the responsibility of companies dedicated to disseminating manipulated news, revealing evidence of their great capacity for influence throughout the world.

On the radar