The Peruvian news site Convoca.pe won today in the Data Journalism Awards 2016, the most important global award in data journalism, in the News Data App (Small Newsroom) category for its investigative series “Excesses unpunished”, which reveals systematically the situation of environmental supervision and the behavior of the extractive industries in Peru.
The award was handed in Vienna, Austria, to Convoca.pe’s director Milagros Salazar, during the 2016 GEN Summit organized by the Global Editors Network, the international community of innovative editors and media committed with high quality journalism, that each year organizes this competition to recognize the exceptional works in the data journalism field.
Milagros Salazar, Convoca's director, alongside members of The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Image by Milagros Salazar
The News Data Apps category includes apps developed from big databases that allow citizens to search for relevant information about events that impact their lives. This journalistic initiatives represent a new way of telling stories through innovation and deep analysis of big sets of data. This year over 400 journalism projects from all continents participated in the 12 categories of the Data Journalism Awards. The special “Excesses unpunished” was finalist alongside "How expensive is your neighbourhood?" by Mediafin, Belgium; "Candidates adn Millions" by Ojo Publico, Peru; "What if the Syrian civil war happened in your country?" by Public Radio International, United States and "Guess the salary" by Tekctn, Ukraine.
“This award reveals the importance of technology and innovation in order to do high quality journalism that shows solid stories and develop apps about social and economic issues that a majority of the population from Latin American countries like Peru faces”, affirmed Milagros Salazar after receiving the award. Convoca.pe’s director gave thanks for the support of several organizations to the work done by independent media and for the Peruvian citizens’ trust in them to tell their stories.
Milagros Salazar and Cécile Schilis-Gallegos, ICIJ's journalist. Image by Milagros Salazar
The special “Excesses unpunished” was developed from the construction and analysis of the first database about the environmental obligations of the large mining and petroleum industries, heavy weights in the Peruvian economy. To show the results of this ample investigative work, Convoca.pe created a platform with two news apps, eight reportages, two multimedia specials and an e-book that expose the true impact of the extractive industries, mostly in areas with high levels of poverty in the Andes and the Peruvian Amazon.
Taking into account the connectivity levels in Peru, the apps were developed so they could be used in areas of the country without a fast internet connection. The publication of “Excesses unpunished” was possible thanks to the work of web developers Melissa Chávez, Anthony Herrera Portella, Diego Paredes, Víctor Anaya and Matthew Caruana; the designer Ivan Palomino; the journalists Aramis Castro, Esteban Valle Riestra and Gabriela Flores; the volunteer team composed by Alberto Evans, Joselyn Levizaca, Milton López, Miguel Medina, Carolina Morales, Miriam Romainville, Gloria Alvitres, Guisselle Alvarez, Manuel Aguirre, Alonso Collantes, Brenda Tenorio, Alicia Tovar, César Zevallos and Gonzalo Torrico; and collaboration of Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales organization.
Paul Steiger, ProPublica's founder, presided the Data Journalism Awards 2016. Image by Milagros Salazar
Convoca.pe is an investigative and data journalism site that started publication in February 2015 with the Swissleaks series, in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ). Since then, the team of journalists and programmers have developed their own journalistic projects to investigate issues of public interest that have an impact in the lives of citizens.
This year Convoca.pe participated alongside over a hundred media partners across the globe in the Panama Papers investigation lead by the ICIJ about offshore companies created in fiscal paradises through the small Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. For the investigation, journalists had access to a platform with over 11 and a half million leaked documents that involved politicians, businesspeople, sports stars and institutions in cases of alleged tax evasion in their countries of origin. The Panama Papers was also a winner in this awards ceremony for the Investigation of the Year category. Another media winners were BuzzFeed News, Fundación Civio, La Nación, Al Jazeera America, FiveThirtyEight, Quartz, Public Radio International, ProPublica and IndiaSpend.
The jury for the Data Journalism Awards 2016 was presided by Paul Steiger, Executive Chairman of ProPublica’s board of directors, and comprised 18 members. Among them, Angélica Peralta Ramos, Data Journalism Project Manager and Multimedia Development Manager at La Nación newspaper from Argentina; Mariana Moura Santos, founder of the Chicas Poderosas community; Paul Radu, Executive Director of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project; Alberto Cairo, teacher at the School of Communications at University of Miami; Aron Pilhofer, Executive Director of Digital for The Guardian; Giannina Segnini, Director of the Master of Science Data Concentration Program at the Journalism School at Columbia University in New York; Shazna Nessa, director of journalism at Knight Foundation; Simon Rogers, Data Editor at the Google News Lab and Peter Barron, Vicepresident Communications Google EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
Read more about "Excesses unpunished" wich won in the News Data App (Small Newsroom) category of the Data Journalism Awards 2016: