This Thursday, the Gen Summit revealed the Data Journalism Awards winners for the 2017 version.
These are the first international awards recognizing outstanding work in the field of data journalism worldwide and were given during the DJA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner at Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
The DJA Jury presided over by Paul Steiger, selected 12 winners out of the 63 finalists. According to Steiger, “they make out the best of what the world of data journalism had to offer in the past year”.
Each winner received an award and a cash prize.
These are the main winners:
Data Visualisation of the Year
The Rhymes Behind Hamilton, The Wall Street Journal, United States
“The Rhymes Behind Hamilton does what a great data visualisation should: It tells a complex story in a deceptively simple way. Using an algorithm developed by the Wall Street Journal’s graphics team, the piece identified and visualised the sometimes complicated rhyming structures behind the Broadway sensation, Hamilton. What the ear understands intuitively this visualisation helps readers comprehend intellectually. In a completely original way, this visualisation helps readers to see the what makes Hamilton’s lyrics so powerful and memorable. Totally original, and totally amazing.”
Investigation of the Year
Unfounded, The Globe and Mail, Canada
“Unfounded, the Globe and Mail’s 20-month investigation into allegations of sexual assault dismissed – and uncounted – as “unfounded,” exposed an important area of public concern. It found, through diligent freedom of information requests, deep data analysis and old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting, that police in Canada consider that no crime was committed in nearly one out of every five allegations of sexual assault. Through compelling and human stories, well-designed graphics and interactive data visualisations, the Globe and Mail brought home those points to readers and sparked reviews and in some cases changes of police practices.”
News data app of the year
“Electionland is an organisational marvel, orchestrating 1,100 journalists in the real-time collaborative coverage of the 2016 US elections. It sets a new high water mark for the use of technology in election coverage due to its use of sophisticated data capture pipelines to augment human verification and judgment calls. In a highly contentious political climate, Electionland chased down reports of election problems at an unprecedented national scale and helped ensure the legitimacy of the vote.”
“What KRIK did with their database project went beyond simply opening data up for examination; they opened minds. Their work allowed people in Serbia, where open access to data is limited, to see what wealth their politicians had accumulated. The publication of the database sparked investigations by the Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency. At the same time, KRIK journalists were monitored and recorded, and the organization subjected to smear campaigns. But they persevered in the name of public accountability and transparency.”
Data journalism website of the year
Rutas del Conflicto, Rutas del Conflicto, Colombia
“Rutas del Conflicto brings together unique content – building with great effort, from scratch, a database that clarifies with narratives, visualizations, maps and in-depth stories the massacres from the Colombian armed conflicts since 1982. It makes this web site not only a real public service for readers and journalists but also an excellent way to enlighten the public and honor the memory of those victims.”
The Chartbeat award for the best use of data in a breaking news story, within first 36 hours
Fact Check: Trump And Clinton Debate For The First Time, NPR / NPR Visuals & NPR Politics, United States
“In a world of fake news, one of the most important tasks of journalism is to respond to spin or outright lies with truth quickly and simply — and with sources. NPR did a thoughtful, novel and effective job at checking both US presidential candidates’ statements. The outlet verified, criticised or enriched on candidates points in a way that marshalled data and facts. It shows how journalism’s ethos for truth can be embedded into code to create a new way to present news events with responsible criticism just alongside it.”
Small newsroom (2 awards)
Crime in Context, The Marshall Project, United States
“The Marshall Project’s “Crime in Context” team gathered 40 years of U.S. violent crime data and applied sophisticated statistical techniques for a compelling graphical story that shows violence in American cities is near a historic low. The analysis, which clearly refutes President Trump’s dystopian claims about crime in the U.S., was presented using interactive fever charts that invite exploration and easy comparison by readers. The engaging package is a powerful demonstration of the value of applying the evidence of data against assertions made for political gain.”
Ctrl+X, Abraji – Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism, Brazil
“The small team managed to pull off excellent work under an environment where data is not easy to access and media is censored via legal means. The data journalists scraped thousands and catalogued about 2500 lawsuits filed by Brazilian politicians who were trying to remove information from the public, and made user-friendly interactives with very neat design and customisable features. It has not only provided insightful data on freedom of expression, but also made their data available for other media to report on the transparency issue, especially during the 2016 election period where such information would be crucial for the people but not publicly and easily accessible otherwise.”