Three data journalism projects focused on transparency and accountability – two from Mexico and one from Chile – have been named the winners of an accelerator challenge run by HacksLabs, the first data journalism accelerator in Latin America. Each of the projects will receive US$25,000 and mentoring to finalize and scale.
In line with HacksLabs’ mission, the projects combine technology, data journalism and citizen involvement and are connected to the broader open data movement. They were selected by a jury made up of representatives from Avina, Hivos, ICFJ and the World Bank Group. The winners are:
¿Quien Fondeó? (Who’s Being Funded?)
The data team at El Universal, the most widely circulated newspaper in Mexico, will develop an application to track unaudited government donations to third parties, which could potentially be involved in corruption or money laundering schemes. Donations and trusts are public resources delivered to individuals, companies or agencies by the federal government, without accountability. In some cases, these public money transfers are delivered by trusts, in which private banks act as fund administrators to third parties. El Universal’s data unit will obtain information through the Law of Access to Public Information, upload it to an online platform and build a social network analysis tool. Stories will be published on El Universal and a chain of associated newspapers in 31 states in the country.
¿Cómo Chile-Compra? (How Does Chile Buy?)
Zoohash, a tech lab based in Santiago, Chile, will work with CIPER, a Chilean investigative journalism outfit, to develop ¿Como Chile Compra?, How Does Chile Buy?, a web app to follow the money trail of government spending, tenders and contracts. The platform will help journalists and citizens detect conflicts of interest, corruption and favoritism, as well as produce journalistic stories. CIPER will use the platform as a basis for journalistic investigations. The project will analyze the flow of money from public to private bodies using intuitive yet powerful visualizations, with the aim of making information more transparent.
A map of organized crime in México: Who’s who in drug trafficking
Animal Político, the country’s most important digital news source, will develop a map of organized crime in Mexico, a news application that will describe who is who in the country’s drug cartels. It will do this through investigative reports that include a visualization of networks and connections, information and geolocation of criminal groups by state, and a database of individuals and organizational connections. Animal Político will work with Poderopedia, a digital platform created and developed by Miguel Paz during his Knight International Journalism Fellowship.
The HacksLabs Challenge is supported by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the World Bank Group and Knight-Mozilla Open News. Media entrepreneur Mariano Blejman founded HacksLabs earlier this year as part of his ICFJ Knight Fellowship.
This post was originally translated from Spanish to English by Jessica Weiss.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jeffrey Beall under a CC license.