Blog Post

May
31
2019

Your Algorithm Hates You

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Some of the decisions algorithms make about our lives are fairly benign, such as those irresistible “Suggestions for you” on Netflix. But it gets far murkier when artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are used by businesses and governments for decision-making that affects our lives without us ever knowing about it. And worse, without us being able to appeal against those decisions.

April
25
2019

Fact-Checking Service Helps Counter Dangerous Health Claims in East Africa

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Late last year, the PesaCheck fact-checking initiative helped debunk a fake story about the outbreak of the human papilloma (HPV) virus in the western Kenya county of Kisii. According to the claim, the disease was spread through kissing and killed faster than the AIDS virus. The hoax originated on Whatsapp, spread on Facebook and then was picked up by a local radio station, Ghetto Radio

April
22
2019

How a Cross-Border Reporting Team Exposed Venezuela’s $28 Billion, Oil-for-Allies Scheme

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As Venezuela’s citizens suffer from rampant food shortages, the government is spending billions to bolster political allies in Latin America, a team of pioneering reporters recently revealed in an unprecedented expose.

CONNECTAS, a cross-border investigative journalism organization in Latin America, directed the project, called Petrofraude. Adding heft to CONNECTAS, ICFJ Knight Fellow Fabiola Torres López coached the reporters on their data efforts, helping them clean up and analyze thousands of government records.

March
22
2019

Building a Bot to Monitor Politicians' Twitter Accounts

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Given the relevance Twitter has gained in politics, it’s important we know what elected officials are publishing on the site, and that we keep a detailed, searchable record of their posts. This is why Aos Fatos, the Brazilian fact-checking organization, in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), developed a bot to monitor Bolsonaro’s Twitter account.

July
23
2018

A Short Guide to the History of ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation: A New ICFJ Learning Module

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Fake news has a long history dating back to Ancient Rome. But it has been increasingly weaponized during the 21st century with the advent of new technology allowing for easy manipulation and fabrication of content. Thus, its important to understand the historical context of the emerging 'information arms race.'

March
2
2017

16 Free Digital Tools Created by ICFJ Knight Fellows That Any Newsroom Can Use

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The ICFJ Knight Fellows are global media innovators who foster news innovation and experimentation to deepen coverage, expand news delivery and better engage citizens. As part of their work, they’ve created tools that they are eager to share with journalists worldwide.

Two ICFJ Knight Fellows, Jorge Luis Sierra and Shaheryar Popalzai, are speaking at the 2017 NICAR conference in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 2-5.

June
16
2016

ICFJ Knight Fellows Showcase 10 Free Open Source Investigative Tools for Journalists

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The ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellows create a culture of news innovation and experimentation worldwide to deepen coverage, expand news delivery and engage citizens in the editorial process.

December
22
2014

Journalist Rescue Fund Could Protect Threatened Reporters, Promote Free Press

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Over the past 22 years, 1,059 journalists have been killed. Worldwide, some 430 journalists are in exile from their home countries. Hundreds more are injured, persecuted, muzzled, and threatened, mostly by governments and sometimes by influential non-governmental forces, all interested in stifling a free, fearless press. Much of this happens in countries where autocratic regimes are the norm and press freedom is ignored.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot of lip service paid, often after the fact, to such threats. In December, for instance, the U.N.

December
11
2014

How Reporters Can Ask the Right Questions of Databases

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Investigative journalists often look to numbers to back up or fuel their reports, but the data they need can't always be found in a tidy spreadsheet or gathered straight from a source.

"As a journalist obviously your main tool is talking to people; it’s being able to ask the right questions of the right people," said ICFJ Knight Fellow Friedrich Lindenberg in a recent webinar on digital tools for investigative reporting.

November
25
2014

Revamped Version of Reporting Tool Citizen Desk Focuses on Real-Time Verification

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Last year, Mozambique’s Verdade newspaper put out a call for citizen reports to supplement its in-house reporting on the country's general election.

Through a new, open source toolkit called Citizen Desk, Verdade received on-the-ground reports, astute observations and...a lot of junk (especially misplaced orders for more mobile minutes).