With Impacto, Newsrooms Can Show, Not Just Tell, Why Their Work Matters

Strengthening Journalism: ICFJ Knight Fellow Pedro Burgos' is making it easier for newsrooms to communicate impact.

Strengthening Journalism: ICFJ Knight Fellow Pedro Burgos is making it easier for newsrooms to communicate impact.

News organizations eager to earn their communities’ trust and grow their revenue have a powerful new set of tools at their disposal: the Impacto platform. 

ICFJ Knight Fellow Pedro Burgos this week in Sao Paulo launched a public version of Impacto, a project backed by the Google News Initiative, which helps newsrooms and journalists better track, understand and demonstrate the impact of their reporting on communities and society.

Burgos, a Brazilian journalist and innovator, is pioneering new ways for media to track the societal impact of their journalism. As an ICFJ Knight Fellow, he is bringing Impacto to newsrooms in Latin America, the United States and Europe - where he aims to build a culture of impact tracking.

“We think that if newsrooms get better at collecting their impact, and communicating it to their audiences, it will strengthen trust in media and make a better case for why people should support journalism,” Burgos said.

In 2017, Burgos developed the private beta version of Impacto with the support of Google News Initiative. He worked with five prominent news organizations in Brazil to transform how they measure and communicate their impacts: Folha de S. Paulo, Gazeta do Povo, Veja, Nexo and Nova Escola. Two of these partners have already produced their first public reports that showcase their impact tracked through Impacto to their audiences: Folha de S. Paulo and Gazeta do Povo

“We’ve always been a local media organization,” said Gazeta do Povo Editorial Director Leonardo Mendes Jr. “With Impacto, we began to perceive and register how our content feeds the debate on national issues such as politics, economy, education and ideology.”

Newsrooms can use Impacto to discover where they have helped to shape opinions and inspire policy changes. They no longer have to manually search to see if they have been referenced. The platform automates the whole process by:

  • Reading pages from sessions of municipal, state and federal legislative chambers, searching for mentions of the news outlet; and
  • Combing through social networks, blogs and news sites to find mentions by influencers.

“We know of no other platform that does this for media,” said ICFJ Knight Fellowships Director Ben Colmery. “We believe it should significantly increase the ability for newsrooms to discover impact.”

After gathering this information, Impacto displays it on a single, user-friendly dashboard where news organizations can view the impact of their journalism all in one place. They can also record instances of impact that they gathered offline.

Burgos is building a coalition of Impacto media partners, with continuing support from Google News Initiative. He is also creating methodologies to guide media on how to track and communicate their impact. Impacto is available in English and Portuguese. The platform will launch a Spanish version soon. 

Interested in Impacto for your newsroom? Send an email to pedro@impacto.jor.br to learn more.


Latest News

A New Partnership with Facebook Will Help Latin American Media Excel in Video Journalism

Argentine and Chilean media outlets are strengthening their video strategies and storytelling through a new program from Facebook and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). Each of the 25 participating newsrooms will receive expert mentorship and a $25,000 grant to build the capacity of their digital video teams.

Collaborative Journalism is Shaping Venezuela’s Media Scene

Amid protests, human rights violations, social instability and an unprecedented food crisis, collaborative journalism is getting stronger in Venezuela. The alliances of independent media with reporters and editors from other countries have helped unearth issues that otherwise would have been kept secret by the pro-government agenda.

ICFJ’s “Steal My Tool” Event Showcases Collaborative Journalism Tools and Projects

Featured projects ranged from a tool that can help verify video in near real-time to an open-source platform for managing the editorial process. Speakers discussed the tools and shared tips during five-minute lightning talks.