Mercedes Agüero, Darío Chinchilla, Hassel Fallas, Bryan Gutiérrez, José Salazar, Angélica Castro
Elecciones 2018, is a website that collects all the articles the Data Journalism Unit of La Nación produced, during the 2018’s presidential election in Costa Rica. The idea was to create in-depth stories that gave context about the political situation, the candidates running for office and historic results of previous elections. In the website we published and investigation about the past of the most controversial candidates running for Congress, which included politics that had been previously investigated for corruption, had open judiciary investigations or had been questioned about their actions while they were public servants. We also interviewed 137 candidates from the biggest political parties about three topics: a fiscal reform, their stance on modifying public wages and gay marriage. With this information we created a web-app where users could guess which parties would win Congress and explore each candidate, to see their points of view on those topics. We also published another three stories with the results of the analysis. In addition, we created a piece about previous electoral results in Costa Rica, with the premise: How to win a election. The analysis showed the fracture of bipartisanship in the country, and the first win of a non-traditional party. After the results of the 4th of february, we did two analysis about the historic results of the electoral process. The first one, showed how a minority religious party achieved and overwhelming victory in most of the country and was able to pass to the second electoral round. The second story, explained how voters had fractionated their vote, benefiting mostly traditional parties for Congress but not for the presidential ballot. Finally, for the second electoral round, we published two profiles of the vice presidential candidates and a data visualization that showed the inner circle of the candidates and other political figures that had given their support to either of the two parties.
What makes this project innovative?
In comparison to the breaking news coverage and isolated news stories about the electoral process, with this project the reader’s of La Nación were able to find in one place all the multimedia projects the Investigative Unit had done during the campaign. The site aimed to give context and in-depth information about the candidates running for office and electoral results, using data analysis, investigative reporting techniques and multimedia storytelling. It is a website dedicated to data and investigative reporting focused exclusively on the 2018 Elections in Costa Rica.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
We used chartbeat and Google Analytics to measure the visitation. The different stories published on the website had 145.280 visitors in three months, with an average time on site of 3:03 minutes.
Source and methodology
For the historic results, we used electoral data from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and analysed it using RStudio. For the stories about the candidates running for Congress, we interviewed 137 candidates and investigated their past, using information from the newspaper archives and judiciary files. In addition we interviewed the vice presidential candidates from the parties participating in the second electoral round.