Influence Mapping January Roundup

Influence Mapping January Roundup

Welcome again to our monthly roundup with stories around transparency and accountability, along with investigative journalism, studies and tools for the data practitioners. 

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How BuzzFeed News Used Betting Data To Investigate Match-Fixing In Tennis (Buzzfeed)

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Betting worth billions. Elite players. Violent threats. Covert messages with Sicilian gamblers. And suspicious matches at Wimbledon. Leaked files expose match-fixing evidence that tennis authorities have kept secret for years.

This is how John Templon, an investigative data reporter for BuzzFeed News, surfed through 26,000 professional matches to uncover “The Tennis Racket” (methodology and code here).

You can also find the “tennis suspects” with this data analysis published in Medium.

Let’s Move Beyond Open Data Portals (Abhi Nemani, Medium)

"You may then think this will all be about open data portals, what they are, why we need them, and how to make them better. In fact, that’s not at all what I’m about to do. Why? Because I think there’s a couple of key trends, certain profound shifts happening in the tech industry in general and in government technology in particular that force us to rethink the way we approach data".

As abstract, rudimentary and confusing as they may be, networks are an essential construct of our 21st century lives and we need the conceptual and technological tools to be able to analyze them. Once we acknowledge the anatomy of the network as more than the formation of nodes and edges and their layout, we can use them carefully. How much influence does the media really have over elections? Digging into the data (Nieman Lab) “My sense is that what we have here is a feedback loop. Does media attention increase a candidate’s standing in the polls? Yes. Does a candidate’s standing in the polls increase media attention? Also yes.”  An article by Jonathan Stray.

How to preserve your work before the Internet eats it (Poynter)

"Unfortunately, the current content management systems and other systems that we're using every day to create our stories and to distribute them, they're not at all designed to preserve that content, so we're finding that online content is extremely ephemeral."

Looking for civic tech's important problems (Tom Sternberg, Civic Hall)

“What preoccupies me now is the question of whether this embedding of transparency and accountability values hard into the core of digital public services is going to be widespread or not. It is entirely possible to make a service more usable without making it any more transparent. Was it naive to assume we could smuggle in a bit of better governance through the back-door of software supply? Or is this actually happening quite often?”

How to write 107,000 stories (CJR)

When Frank Matt finally received the Department of Labor database after an eight-month FOIA battle, it was a mess: 70 million records in a few gigantic spreadsheets. Matt was the data journalist on McClatchy DC’s “Irradiated,” a year-long investigation into the unseen costs of America’s nuclear weapons program, and when he got the spreadsheets, his work was just beginning.


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Decoding Data is the first in a series of Guides that Exposing the Invisible will bring out in 2016. According to the team, this guide "focuses on the efficacy of data when there are some possibilities and we definitely do not fetishize its power". Here you can find 64 tools and 89 resources about Finding, Collecting and Analyzing data, building Networks and more.

Manual on Freedom of Expression Law

The Media Legal Defense Initiative published this manual intended as a material for training workshops. It’s a guide to international and comparative freedom of expression law, introducing topics ranging from defamation to national security restrictions on free speech.

Digital Media and Journalism in Latin America (2016) Mexican organization Factual just launched a study on Digital Media and Journalism in Latin America. The study includes 30 media initiatives from 13 different countries.

Corruption Perception Index 2015

Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in the 2015 edition of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index than declined.

Global Open Data Index 2015 The first initiative of its kind, Global Open Data Index provides the most comprehensive snapshot available of the global state of open data. This year, it mapped 122 countries (up from 97 countries in 2014).


4 databasic Suite of easy-to-use web tools for beginners that introduce concepts of working with data. The tool set is available in Spanish and English, and soon it may be translated to Hungarian.
Re-usable Scrapper Scripts for Text Document Extractors
This dataset combines names and details for persons and entities of interest: political leaders and entities sanctioned by various governments or those barred from public procurement.

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