Silicon Republic: Courtsdesk receives £70,000 to build legal database for UK journalists

Silicon Republic: Courtsdesk receives £70,000 to build legal database for UK journalists. “Dublin-based Courtsdesk has received £70,000 in funding to build a service supplying listings and outcomes of criminal court cases to journalists in the UK.”

Online Journalism Blog: A journalist’s introduction to network analysis

Online Journalism Blog: A journalist’s introduction to network analysis. “Network analysis offers enormous potential for journalism: able to tease out controversial connections and curious clusters, and to make visible that which we could not otherwise see, it’s also often about relationships and power. It is both a data journalism technique and an open source intelligence (OSINT) technique — and yet it is relatively underused in both, most likely because the tools to do network analysis have only become accessible in the last few years.”

Online Journalism Blog: How Wayback Machine and a sitemap file was used to factcheck Dominic Cummmings

Online Journalism Blog: How Wayback Machine and a sitemap file was used to factcheck Dominic Cummmings. “Here’s how it was done — and how journalists can use the same tools in their work, whether it’s to verify a claim made about the past, a claim about what was not said in the past, or to uncover details that may have been unwittingly revealed in earlier versions of webpages.”

NiemanLab: VizPol takes a cue from bird-watching apps to help journalists identify unfamiliar political symbols

NiemanLab: VizPol takes a cue from bird-watching apps to help journalists identify unfamiliar political symbols. “Built by researchers at Columbia University’s journalism and engineering schools and launched as an invite-only beta this week, VizPol can currently recognize 52 symbols. Many are associated with right-wing and white supremacist organizations, but the app also includes insignia used by libertarian, anti-fascist, hactivist, and other groups considered political but not extremist.”

ProPublica: I’m an Investigative Journalist. These Are the Questions I Asked About the Viral “Plandemic” Video.

ProPublica: I’m an Investigative Journalist. These Are the Questions I Asked About the Viral “Plandemic” Video.. “My brother is a pastor in Colorado and had someone he respects urge him to watch ‘Plandemic,’ a 26-minute video that promises to reveal the “hidden agenda” behind the COVID-19 pandemic. I called him and he shared his concern: People seem to be taking the conspiracy theories presented in ‘Plandemic’ seriously. He wondered if I could write something up that he could pass along to them, to help people distinguish between sound reporting and conspiracy thinking or propaganda So I watched ‘Plandemic.’ I did not find it credible, as I will explain below.”

First Draft: How to analyze Facebook data for misinformation trends and narratives

First Draft: How to analyze Facebook data for misinformation trends and narratives. “There is a mountain of data that can help us examine topics such as the spread of 5G conspiracy theories or where false narratives around Covid-19 cures came from. It can help us analyze cross-border narratives and identify which online communities most frequently discuss certain issues. While Twitter’s public data is accessible through its Application Programming Interface (API), it can be much more complicated for researchers to access platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Facebook-owned platform CrowdTangle is the most easily accessible tool to handle three of the most important social networks — Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit — and it is free for journalists and researchers.”

GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Weird Maps, ‘Out of Control’ Airbnb, Augmented Reality Graphics, Russian Doctors, Brazilian Data (Global Investigative Journalism Network)

Global Investigative Journalism Network: GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Weird Maps, ‘Out of Control’ Airbnb, Augmented Reality Graphics, Russian Doctors, Brazilian Data. “What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from February 17 to 23 finds geographer Tim Wallace collecting some amusingly unusual maps, The Guardian analyzing the effect of Airbnb on home ownership in Great Britain, and former Ogilvy & Mather chief creative officer Tham Khai Meng sharing how a Japanese newspaper utilized augmented reality to animate graphics.”

Techdirt: Federal Agencies Are Still Abusing Their Favorite, Super-Vague FOIA Exemption Thousands Of Times A Year

Techdirt: Federal Agencies Are Still Abusing Their Favorite, Super-Vague FOIA Exemption Thousands Of Times A Year. “The Freedom of Information Act was supposed to result in, you know, the freedom of information. Obviously, not everything the government produces paperwork-wise can end up in the public’s hands, but far more should be turned over to the public than has been. Using a proprietary blend of stonewalling and excessive fee demands, countless government agencies have managed to keep public documents away from the public. It takes a lawyer to win FOIA lawsuits, which may be why corporations are getting their hands on far more documents than American citizens.”

Smarter government or data-driven disaster: the algorithms helping control local communities (MuckRock)

MuckRock: Smarter government or data-driven disaster: the algorithms helping control local communities. “Does handing government decisions over to algorithms save time and money? Can algorithms be fairer or less biased than human decision making? Do they make us safer? Automation and artificial intelligence could improve the notorious inefficiencies of government, and it could exacerbate existing errors in the data being used to power it. MuckRock and the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL) have compiled a collection of algorithms used in communities across the country to automate government decision-making.”

How to: plan a journalism project that needs data entry (Online Journalism Blog)

Online Journalism Blog: How to: plan a journalism project that needs data entry. “Data-driven reporting regularly involves some form of data entry — some of the stories I’ve been involved with, for example, have included entering information from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, compiling data from documents such as companies’ accounts, or working with partners to collect information from a range of sources. But you’ll rarely hear the challenges of managing these projects discussed in resources on data journalism. Last week I delivered a session on exactly those challenges to a factchecking team in Albania, so I thought it might be useful to share the tips from that session here.”

Poynter: This project matches investigative editors to the local newsrooms that desperately need them

Poynter: This project matches investigative editors to the local newsrooms that desperately need them. “Investigative Editing Corps is a project that pairs seasoned investigative editors with local newsrooms. The editors get stipends for their work through foundation funding that supports the project. The newsrooms pay nothing. IEC officially launched last week, almost three years after Ciotta first imagined how investigative editors who’d left the business (either willingly or not) might help the local newsrooms that need them.”

Balkan Insight: BIRN Launches New Investigative Resource Desk Platform

Balkan Insight: BIRN Launches New Investigative Resource Desk Platform. “The platform provides investigative journalists with various types of assistance and a set of tools and resources related, but not limited, to freedom of information, data access and protection, cyber-security and open-source datasets. The assistance of our experts is free and provided on a needs basis. BIRD also contains various databases and a set of tools that can be used in daily reporting. Currently, the platform offers 20 different publications on topics such as freedom of information, data protection, journalism sustainability, verifying information and many more. And we intend to add more in future.”

“We’ve seen hate becoming mainstream”: This news site aims to tie together the intel on extremism (Nieman Lab)

Nieman Lab: “We’ve seen hate becoming mainstream”: This news site aims to tie together the intel on extremism. “After years of writing about it for TPM, The Daily Beast, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, [Nick Martin] decided to start The Informant, a newsletter and site dedicated to ‘original reporting and intelligence on hate and extremism in America today.’ While any number of outlets were covering pieces of the story, Martin said he didn’t see any one making sense of it and explaining what it all means.”