2019 News Innovation Grant Projects

This year the News Corp Media Fellowship for Global Journalists administered by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with The Wall Street Journal is offering journalists the opportunity to participate in an innovative program that includes virtual training on creative storytelling and offers grants to support data-driven projects. One journalist who completes both the virtual training and a grant-funded project will be selected to participate in a 3-month fellowship in New York, where the fellow will receive hands-on training and mentorship at the WSJ media science lab.

The first stage of the program took place in July, 2019. ICFJ recruited over 50 international journalists to participate in two half-day webinars led by Amara Aguilar, an experienced journalism trainer and associate professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The two half-day webinars were a success; journalists discussed data journalism and innovative storytelling techniques, engaged in group activities, and presented collaborative digital project prototypes.

In August 2019, ICFJ selected 5 journalists out of these attendees to receive news innovation grants to fund data-driven projects. Each grant recipient will also benefit from online editorial coaching and mentorship from Amara Aguilar. The winners of the 5 news innovation grants are:

Ana Paula Lisboa

Project: Correio nas Escolas - View the project here.

  • The purpose of the project is to map and tell the stories of the high schools (and their students) in Brazil's Federal District. The map will highlight key education data and will include crowd-sourced accounts, photos, and videos of readers' experiences with the Federal District schools. 

Carolyn Thompson

Project: Controlling the Ebola outbreak - View the project here.

  • This immersive storytelling game will help users understand the complexity of trying to stem the Ebola outbreak in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Based on a map of the outbreak and a timeline from the first-reported case to the present, users will choose how to respond as the disease spreads and learn about the actions that have been taken and their results.

Daniel Villatoro Garcia

Project: Money and Politics: Tracking political contributions in Guatemala - View the project here.

  • Daniel will open political financing data from the last two Guatemalan electoral campaigns, as well as the currently ongoing campaign. He will analyze the data to uncover illegal electoral financing. The findings will be published in collaboration with multiple national and regional outlets.

Hyury Potter

Project: Illegal mining in the Amazon - View the project here: ArticleMap (English), Map (Portuguese), Twitter bot, Github

  • Hyury will create a map of mining licenses granted within Amazon full protection areas, class 1. The Brazilian Amazon has 39 class 1 protected areas where mining is outlawed. The map will highlight the areas in which these regulations are being violated. It will be updated in real time, and will be accompanied by a Twitter bot that will Tweet out alerts when new illegal mining licenses are granted.

Rui Barros

Project: Can I Really Afford to Live here? - View the project here.

  • The project will use governmental, social media, and other open source data sets to put the user’s income into various geographical contexts throughout Portugal. The tool will show users rent, water and electricity prices in select cities, as well as the best schools in the region and how much you would need to spend in that city to have your children in a nursery.