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2021 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Newsroom finalist

InfoAmazonia

Data Journalism to Inform About the Largest Rainforest on the Planet

About the Project

Founded in 2012, InfoAmazonia.org brings a proposal to use data journalism and digital technologies to report on the nine countries of the Amazon. Our in-depth reporting on the Venezuelan Amazon has been awarded twice in previous editions of the ONA award and more recently also in the Gabo Award, considered one of the most important among Ibero-American countries.

But in the last 12 months, we have made extremely important advances in the presentation of our stories and in the ways we offer our users navigation through multimedia reports and databases updated in real-time, in addition to our traditional digital maps, which are a key feature on everything we do.

Here are the projects we would like to highlight, according to the submitted links. The use of data visualization, geospatial analysis, and automation is the core of these projects

– Project Mercury – this was our top investigative story of 2020, where we worked in a collaborative effort with journalists from 4 different countries and three outlets. Here we highlight the opening of the project with a story map that introduces the region to be explored. Throughout this special site, users can read in-depth reports interlaced with extremely high-quality videos, photos, maps, and interactive charts

– The Murky Waters Project – a collection of stories using high-resolution satellite imagery to highlight the connection between the Amazon and the Caribbean. There are also beautiful photo essays and digital maps. We would like to call our attention to the story map where a complex geospatial analysis was applied to show the discharge of sediments in the Tapajós river basin.

– Mined Amazon and Amazonia Sufocada Projects – both projects bring digital maps with automated data about new mining concessions and forest fires overlaying protected areas and indigenous territories. Every time a new mining authorization is conceded by the Brazilian authorities or new forest fires are detected, the maps are updated, if there are overlaps with these protected areas, new tweets are launched. So the Twitter accounts @amazonia_minada and @botqueimadas are bots that inform automatically their users about the advance of mining activities and forest fires in the Amazon. But not only: taking into account these automated analyses, in-depth stories with data visualization were produced

– Trapped – video animation – besides the work with satellite imagery, digital maps, and automatic updates of databases, InfoAmazonia has also dedicated part of its team to appealing stories about complex issues in the Amazon. For us, one of the best examples is this video about the pink dolphin of the Amazon region. Although the video itself in YouTube got little traction in English, we had a good audience in Portuguese and Spanish

Over the years, InfoAmazonia has been praised for its work to help advanced data journalism with a focus on geographic data. One example of this recognition can be seen in this column by Jorge Carrión or the participation of one of our team member in the Innovation Track of ONA 2020.