ICFJ Knight roundup: Salama app lets journalists assess risk before entering conflict zones

by Jefferson Mok
Aug 21, 2015 in Journalist Safety
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Each week as part of the Knight International Media Innovators blog, the ICFJ Knight team will round up stories focused on how their fellows are making an impact in the field. Find out more about the fellows' projects by clicking here.

An app to keep journalists safe in Mexico, a tracking tool for government spending, #CecilTheLion and more from the Knight Fellows in this week’s roundup.

Salama app could keep journalists steps ahead of danger in Mexico

Journalists reporting on tough issues should learn more about ICFJ Knight Fellow Jorge Luis Sierra’s app Salama. In this ThinkProgress article, Sierra’s app is described as one of the tools that can help journalists assess threat levels, anticipate problems and devise security plans in areas of high risk. 

Sierra considers other ways journalists can protect themselves, such as securely transmitting messages and files. In this presentation (Spanish), he guides journalists through his recommendations on how to use the media-sharing platform Peerio to protect themselves and their sources.

A reusable tool for opening up government finances

SpenDB, started by Friedrich Lindenberg while he was an ICFJ Knight Fellow, lets anyone explore, visualize and track government spending. SpenDB just launched a mailing list to enable more discussion and to collaborate on improving this transparency tool. Access the Google Group here.     

The perfect storm behind #CecilTheLion

How did a dentist become so internationally infamous? Public outrage and the Internet made #CecilTheLion a top trending issue on social media. The Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism, a founding member of ANCIR and a winner of ICFJ Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein’s 2012 African News Innovation Challenge, decided to explore why. The story is not really about Cecil or the dentist, but how these two built international momentum around larger problems with African wildlife (i.e. trophy hunting, illicit wildlife trade, ivory and more).

How Poderopedia Colombia investigated corruption among government ministers

Vice published a detailed account of Poderopedia’s investigation into “invisible strings of power” and how conflicts of interest in Colombia are fueling corrupt practices. Poderopedia, founded with support from recent ICFJ Knight Fellow Miguel Paz, uses data and graphics to chart the relationships between individuals, companies and organizations — an ideal tool to map out networks of influence. 

A new report claims the Amazon rain forest will be gone by 2260

A new data-driven report was published on InfoAmazonia, a geojournalism platform created by former ICFJ Knight Fellow Gustavo Faleiros that uses data and mapping tools to report on environmental changes in the Amazon. The report, written by British geographer Mark Mulligan, models current deforestation trends and makes a grim prediction about the Amazon’s continued survival in an era of unprecedented environmental shifts. This National Geographic article (Portuguese) analyzes Mulligan’s research and breaks down his methods.

Main image screenshot of Salama app