Aug 42014

CJR: Knight Fellows are spurring entrepreneurship in Latin America

In a story on Latin America media innovation, Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) singled out several Knight International Journalism Fellows for blazing the path.

Media Factory, a project by Knight International Journalism Fellow Mariano Blejman, will provide funding and mentorship to promising digital projects in Latin America.

Jul 212014

Five data journalism projects win funding from Latin American startup accelerator HacksLabs

Five data-driven projects produced during the regional hackathon La Ruta de Dinero (The Money Trail) will receive support from HacksLabs, the first accelerator of data journalism projects in Latin America.

The projects focus on improving transparency and accountability in Colombia, Chile and Argentina. The regional hackathon, which I coordinated as part of my ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellowship, took place in 12 Latin American cities and one U.S. city.

Jul 32014

A Nightmare Turned Beautiful

Most of us have been through travel nightmares that over time have turned into fond memories. Maybe you were lost for hours while in a place where nobody spoke your language, but you ended up making great friends and learned how to live alone. This is what happened with me.

Jun 262014

Civic Patterns is Creating a Common Language For The Builders of News and Citizen engagement apps

While many in journalism are searching for ways to harness their readers' expertise and to use data to tell compelling stories, technologists and NGOs who build civic technologies around the world are asking some of the same questions. Organizations like the UK's MySociety, US-based Code for America, Code for South Africa or Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente in Chile develop services that aim to improve interactions between government and citizens.

Jun 202014

Being A Fellow

It seemed to be an interesting possibility from the very beginning when I filed the application with the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan. I applied at the last moment of course, as would be expected of me, running off to the general post office in Islamabad and depositing the envelope in person just 10 minutes before the office shut down. Then, I got an interview call. It all seemed surreal, as if it was not happening to me at all.

The idea of going to the United States for the first time and to actually be able to work there for a broadcast media outlet would be no less than a dream for a workaholic like me. The U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership in Journalism instantly became the highlight of my very happening and fast-developing life.

Jun 132014

ICFJ Organizes “CodeCamp for the Globe” to Strengthen Citizen Voices Through Data

From May 19 through 30, 2014, ICFJ brought together experts from around the world to the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy to find ways to use data to advance quality journalism. Ben Colmery helped organize this key summit.

His report:

There is no question that open data is opening new doors to improve people’s lives. Initiatives by governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and hacker groups have bolstered its potential by creating a flood of data and apps.

But what, of it all, has shown tangible success? What works, what doesn’t?

Jun 112014

Calling All Journalism Professors!

The International Center for Journalists is on to something big with its Back in the Newsroom Fellowship. As one of five professors from historically black colleges selected to participate in the program, the benefit of the exposure just in the first few weeks alone has been immeasurable.

The fellowship draws educators out from behind the walls of their institutions of higher learning and pushes them into the open universe of digital content generation.

Jun 72014

ICFJ Knight Fellow's Regional Hackathon Follows Funds

Fourteen distinct chapters of Hacks/Hackers across Latin America and Miami gathered participants on June 7 to work on projects that attempt to answer one basic question: Where does my money go?

The hackathon brought journalists and coders together to follow where and how Latin American governments and corporations direct their funds.

May 212014

Expert Tips for Making Better Infographics

While infographics are a great way to help readers understand complex topics, journalists should avoid the temptation to make information appear to be simpler than it is.

"Stories are always more complicated than they seem at first," said data visualization expert Alberto Cairo.

May 132014

How Argentina's La Nación Data Journalism Team is Verifying Senate Spending Data With Help From the Public

The data sets emerging from our current age of big data aren't always usable by the masses--or even accurate. One Argentine newspaper is working to change that by empowering the public to verify and understand just what the country's elected leaders are spending public money on, from airline tickets to per diems.

La Nación’s VozData initiative, which launched in late March, allows users to review and rate more than 6,500 Argentine Senate spending records from 2010 to 2012. All were originally published on the official Senate website.