Data Journalism Awards: winning stories in investigative journalism
We are pleased to announce the winning stories for the recent Data Journalism Awards, the first International contest recognising outstanding work in the field of data journalism worldwide.
These stories cover issues about anti-terrorism and public spending, health and education systems, always with a strong investigative push and great accuracy in data use. Among others, an inquiry by the Seattle Times on painkiller methadone overdoses and people income had already been awarded with the Pulitzer Prize.
Three of the 16 stories selected for the data-driven investigative journalism category (the other two were data visualisation & storytelling, and data-driven applications ) are the result of partnerships between media outlets and non-profit journalism programs, such as the Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program, the Center for Investigative Reporting and The Center for Public Integrity.
Published last Fall by US monthly Mother Jones, Terrorist for the Fbi explains how the FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But the actual target become American citizens “at risk”, and the data set provided show the details about the prosecutions of 508 alleged “domestic terrorists”. Readers can even “play” with such data to check their own outcome.
Methadone and the politics of Pain, is another first-class investigation on the many distortions of the current US health system. Medicaid patients are encouraged to use a narcotic that costs less than a dollar a dose, insisting that methadone is safe. But hundreds die from it each year — and more than anyone else, it’s the poor who pays the price.
Both inquiries integrated several formats and tools, both online and on print editions, producing a variety of interactive infographics that directly engage readers on very controversial and often “forgotten” topics. They are perfect examples of a data journalism that supports truly important stories in the public interest.