Using Poderopedia to Inform Voters in Panama

Feb 192014

When you head to the polls, how much do you know about a candidate before you vote for him or her?

Do you know whether the candidate completed college? Who his or her key contacts are? Whether the candidate owns real estate, a business or shares in public companies? Whether the candidate has been in any legal trouble? Who financed the campaign?

The answers to these questions, which are critical to informing voters, are too often hidden from the public.

That’s true here in Panama, where transparency for politicians and candidates is considered optional. The government does not require candidates to declare their assets, interests or electoral funding. Once elected, officials aren’t compelled by law to reveal or eliminate conflicts of interest.

To get the public this vital information, the Investigative Reporting Initiative in the Americas is bringing together the major media in Panama to collaborate on "Cuida Tu Voto." This initiative includes the launch of Candidatos Panamá Ruta 2014, a website developed by Poderopedia in partnership with La Prensa newspaper, which is mapping who is who in the electoral race.

Read the full post on IJNet.

The International Journalists' Network, IJNet, keeps professional and citizen journalists up to date on the latest media innovations, online journalism resources, training opportunities and expert advice. ICFJ produces IJNet in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. IJNet is supported by donors including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Image CC-licensed on Flickr via Kodak Agfa.