Projects submitted to the Data Journalism Awards competition

Right here you will find a list of all the projects submitted to the Data Journalism Awards competition.  

The Wall
Country: United States
Organisation: Arizona Republic with the USA Today Network
Innovation in data journalism
Sensor
Immersive
Interactive
Investigation
Collaboration
Maps
Video
Visualisation
Verification
Election
Health & Science
Crime
Environment
Public institutions
Migration
Tech
Economy
Applicant
Shawn
Sullivan
Team Members
Scores of reporters, photographers, editors and digital developers from across the USA TODAY NETWORK spent nine months working on \"The Wall: Unknown Stories, Unintended Consequences,\" a report that examines the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented ways. We flew the entire border – drove it, too. More than 30 reporters and photographers interviewed migrants, farmers, families, tribal members – even a human smuggler. We joined Border Patrol agents on the ground, in a tunnel, at sea. We patrolled with vigilantes, walked the line with ranchers. We scoured government maps, fought for property records. Then we presented this information in stories, documentaries, an interactive map, groundbreaking virtual reality, behind-the-scenes podcasts — even nights of live storytelling. The goal: Let you experience the border any way you choose, so as discussions take place and decisions are made, you have all the information you need. Meet the team. Reporting Daniel González | Rafael Carranza | Dennis Wagner | Dianna M. Náñez | Brandon Loomis | Laura Gómez | Gustavo Solis | Brett Kelman | Aileen B. Flores | Diana Alba Soular | Chris Ramirez | John Moritz | Rob O\'Dell | Kirsten Crow | Anne Ryman | Ron Dungan | Ronald J. Hansen | Dan Nowicki | Paul Singer Editing Nicole Carroll | Josh Susong | Michael Squires | Zahira Torres | Tim Archuleta | Jill Castellano | Lee Horwich | Greg Burton | Shaun McKinnon | Pat Flannery Photography David Wallace | Nick Oza | Cheryl Evans | Mark Henle | Gabe Hernandez | Hannah Gaber | Michael Chow | Thomas Hawthorne Cinematography Emmanuel Lozano | Pat Shannahan | David Wallace | Hannah Gaber | Thomas Hawthorne | Mark Henle | Kathy Kieliszewski | Rodney White | Ron Chapple | Cheryl Evans | Brian Kaufman | Nick Oza | Laura Gomez | Gabe Hernandez Copy editing Melissa Galbraith | Becca Dyer Photo editing Emmanuel Lozano | Michael Meister Video editing Kathy Kieliszewski | Brian Kaufman | David Wallace | Pat Shannahan | Emmanuel Lozano Video producers Kathy Kieliszewski | Emmanuel Lozano Video consulting David Hamlin Site design Suzanne Palma | Erika Espinoza | JAM3 Site development Kevin Poortinga | Keira Nothaft | Patrick McCoy | Craig Johnson | Ryan Graef | John Scott | Nancy Goheen | Stan Wilson | Bendik Lynghaug | Matt Graham | Rohit Dhiman | Stephen Harding | Michael Vargas-Rodriguez | Tim Wong | Ryan Copley | Andy Horner | Matt Rohland Testing Greg Sypolt | Michael Morneau | Hema Shivakumaraswamy Interactive map Mitchell Thorson | Pim Linders | Angelo Cocci | Karl Gelles | Shawn Sullivan Video mapping Shea Lemar | Greg Walsh | Okechi Apakama | Brendan Walker | Todd Kelly | Aerial Filmworks: Ron Chapple, Sara Woodmansee | Mercury Aviation: Coyt Bailey VR development Ray Soto | Alan Davies | Justin Kuo | Jon Dang | Patrick Slawinski | University of Advancing Technology VR story development Josh Susong | Ray Soto Podcasts Nicole Carroll | Hannah Gaber | Kaila White | Katie O’Connell | Shannon Green | Nate Kelly Research Nicole Gimpl | Ryan Santistevan | Robert Gundran Project managers Annette N. Meade | Todd Kelly | Bianca Jackson | Julia Thompson Graphics Suzanne Palma | Erika Espinoza | Stephen Beard | Eric Busch | Rob O\'Dell | Karl Gelles Video licensing Nicholas Carter | Steve Elfers | Kevin Goff Social/Digital Media Kristen DelGuzzi | Karen Kurtz | Louie Villalobos | Mary Bowerman | Mary Nahorniak | Katie O\'Connell | Tess Homan | Rebecca Smouse | Sarah Day Owen | Erika Espinoza | Suzanne Palma | Patty Michalski | Spaceship Media Translation Alejandro Barahona | Laura Gómez | Rafael Carranza | Rudy Gutierrez | Gustavo Solis Publicity/events Chrissy Terrell | Barbara VanDenburgh | Brooke Thomas | Elizabeth Nelson | Megan Finnerty | Kim Meader Digital media managers James Lang | Shanna Lockwood | Jerry Lai | Angie Walton
Project Description
Thank you for considering “The Wall.” Our goal with this project was to educate and empower Americans, because we knew this moment was coming: The moment when a national debate over this issue roils the nation, from congressional hallways to kitchen tables. We invite you to explore the entire project on your own, but please allow us to share some highlights here: The map: https://usat.ly/2yqqsJN The USA TODAY NETWORK has produced the most current and comprehensive public map of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border by flying and driving the entire 2,000-mile border and then verifying its findings with public records, digital property maps, on-the-ground reporting and satellite imagery. An interactive digital map, based on this extensive reporting, allows users to pick any spot on the border and cue up aerial video taken from a helicopter at that exact location, as well as see the type of fencing used along the border. This map is an important accountability tool. Moving forward, we can report exactly what has or has not been built, and at what cost. The findings: https://www.usatoday.com/border-wall/ An overview of we learned, reported and revealed, including the first-ever report on how many parcels of property may be disrupted by a wall in Texas. The flight video: http://azc.cc/2wV8nl1 In 2017, a team of journalists set out with a mission: To visit, examine, video and map every foot of the U.S.-Mexico border. The task was beyond daunting. The trip would be 2,000 miles and would require almost two weeks in the air and on the ground. They spent months researching what they would be watching for. But their journey, like all such journeys, brought both new delights and unforeseen challenges. The flight story: https://usat.ly/2hfkCqe No helicopter flight can capture the flavors, smells, sounds and feel of the zone known in Spanish as la frontera. The cultural milieu and contrasts. The vastness, emptiness and brutal heat of deserts. The vibrancy and unease of an evening on the Juarez streets. The enormous economies of binational cities where backyards and front porches sit in sight of the fence. Our job is to fly the border and imagine what could be. Our questions, at heart, are the same ones all Americans must now examine: Can a wall be built? Should it be built? Will it work? Virtual reality: https://vimeo.com/251397573 Virtual reality allows you to stand inside a virtual space in real proportions, in this case looking at the terrain and vegetation of border regions, and even hearing origi- nal sound from the area. “The Wall” project used a helicopter equipped with video and LIDAR technology, essentially a laser that measures distances, to help re-create geographical features of the border for the VR experience. The three on-the-ground experiences for “The Wall” allow you to immerse yourself into a virtual representa- tion of three locations along the border: • Near Tecate, where a steel border fence marks the line through rocky hillsides between California and Mexico. • In the middle of a canyon in Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas, where thousand-foot cliffs soar higher than any border wall could be built. • At the foot of Mount Cristo Rey, home of a religious shrine near El Paso, which serves as a pilgrimage site for people in both the U.S. and Mexico. In addition to the virtual reality, in this experience you can also immerse yourself in a dozen videos and accompanying slideshows that capture stories along the border. To fully experience this groundbreaking virtual reality, you need a HTC Vive system. How- ever, this video explains and highlights the experience. The multimedia innovations in “The Wall” were a key reason the project received a $28,000 grant in 2017 from Journal- ism 360, a news initiative by Google News Lab and the Knight Foundation. SHORT DOCUMENTARY VIDEOS So much of the power of “The Wall” comes from the on-the-ground video reporting. We invite you to immerse yourself in them all, at https://usat.ly/2wKwToG. To get started, we recommend these: Border crossings: A Deadly Desert: http://azc.cc/2wV7OaT Ranchers: Violence on the Land: http://azc.cc/2wVoVJm Vigilantes: A Dangerous Game: http://azc.cc/2wji11g Migrants: A Final Journey?: http://azc.cc/2wjwwlS STORYTELLERS PROJECT Story and video: http://azc.cc/2xistqX In September, men and women from across the Southwest shared true, first-person stories from lives lived on and around the U.S.-Mexico border on stages in Phoenix, El Paso and Indio, Calif. Live storytelling was another interactive way to share “The Wall.” BEHIND THE SCENES OF ‘THE WALL’ The full series: https://usat.ly/2jPrImk Journalists have the best stories. Not just the ones they write or document on video. But the ones they share when they come back from assignments. In this pod- cast series, Arizona Republic Editor Nicole Carroll introduces you to the journalists behind “The Wall.” Hear what they went through to bring you these stories — and the surprising things they learned along the way. Sample: Inside the mind of a human smuggler: https://soundcloud.com/wallpodcast/ smuggler Longtime immigration reporter, Daniel González, travels to the historic center of Mexicali to meet a pollero, a man who is paid to get migrants over the border fence and illegally into the United States. The pollero describes how — and why — he does this job.
What makes this project innovative?
To the judges: As a candidate, Donald Trump made a signature campaign promise: He would \"Build the wall\" on the southern border. Like America, we had questions. Could a wall be built? Would it work? Would there be unintended consequences? Our border-state newsrooms - in Phoenix, Las Cruces, El Paso, Corpus Christi, Palm Springs and Ventura -set out to answer those questions in a bold, transparent and groundbreaking way. But before we traveled the first mile of the border, we made another crucial decision. We would work on every possible platform, and present our work in as many ways as possible. We planned for video, audio, interactivity, live events, virtual reality. Then we got to work. The result was \"The Wall,\" a report that pushes the boundaries of journalism: o The hallmark of The Wall was the most complete, current and interactive map of border fencing ever created. Our team flew every foot of the 2,000-mile border and created a high-de nition video record of the entire line. Journalists reviewed all the video, plus satellite imagery, federal data, and GPS position coordinates taken from the ground to con rm the existing locations of every piece of border fence. Then, a data graphics team synchronized the video with the map. You can touch any point along the line and see what\'s there. And our map creates the perma- nent record of how the border was fenced before any wall construction began. o Documentary videos became a centerpiece of the report, with beautiful and technically exquisite visual story- telling from all along the border. These are reports people don\'t just see, they feel. o The Wall came to life in virtual reality for the Vive VR system. Now, even if you\'ve never been to the border, you can reach out to the border fence in California, gaze up at a holy mountain on the border outside El Paso, and wade across the Rio Grande in a stunning canyon in Big Bend National Park. The Wall is a new landmark in VR journalism, conveying video stories, interactive mapping and engrossing virtual locations. o We launched live storytelling nights in three states, sharing personal histories of the border and allowing audiences to experience the virtual reality project hands-on. o A 10-part podcast series lets you get to know the journalists who reported the stories, and shares the behind- the-scenes challenges they faced. As you listen, an interactive chatbot can send you photos and more details about each story. (For example, as you listen to the report about the jaguar, text JAGUAR to ask our bot for more stories, videos or other topics.) o We made sure the decision-makers saw The Wall. Our team built a database of thousands of stakeholders - politicians, law enforcement offcials, activists and community leaders - and we emailed each one of them with a personal invitation to see and share the project. The Wall was about purpose. We provided clarity on a noisy and divisive national issue. We educated, informed and empowered our communities. We invited America to learn, discuss, debate and decide. And to do that, we brought America to The Wall, and The Wall to America, in every possible way. Thank you, Nicole Carroll Vice President/News Executive Editor If you receive a paywall message from azcentral.com, use this login: Login: digitalpartners@ usatodaynetwork.com Password: bawE42Ya
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The Wall was about purpose. We provided clarity on a noisy and divisive national issue. We educated, informed and empowered our communities. We invited America to learn, discuss, debate and decide. And to do that, we brought America to The Wall, and The Wall to America, in every possible way. We measured the above using analytics, earned media, and more.
Source and methodology
Map: https://usat.ly/2yqqsJN We looked at every mile of the U.S.-Mexico border. Now you can, too – right here. The USA TODAY NETWORK has produced the most current and comprehensive public map of current fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border by flying and driving the entire 2,000-mile border and then verifying its findings with public records, digital property maps, on-the-ground reporting and satellite imagery. An interactive digital map, based on this extensive reporting, allows users to pick any spot on the border and cue up aerial video taken from a helicopter at that exact location, as well as see the type of fencing used along the border. How the map project was done: The USA TODAY NETWORK team started with about 40 hours of aerial footage of the border flight itself. The helicopter camera system tracked not just the GPS coordinates of the helicopter, but also angles and positions of the camera. The mapping team converted that data into a system that showed the precise location of what the camera was seeing. With the position data and mapping so ware, a three-person team from Arizona State University began synchronizing a digital map to the video, a process that took weeks. The video was edited to remove flight portions that pulled away for refueling or overnight stops, resulting in one continuous stretch of video about 20 hours long. Using the video, the team logged the map locations of every visible piece of fence. After multiple reviews, team members re ned the map by checking it against other sources of information, primarily satellite imagery and federal maps from 2013 released under the Freedom of Information Act by the Department of Homeland Security to the University of Texas. To use the Department of Homeland Security maps, the network worked with Shea Lemar, a geographic information system project manager at ASU. She and ASU stu- dents turned these traditional at maps into interactive, digital maps that allowed the students and reporters to analyze the border and its fencing — and check their data against it. Some fencing sits far from the border, typically in south Texas where the twisting Rio Grande conforms to no straight line. The helicopter ew and mapped the borderline, and these fences o en were so far back they do not appear in the frame. In these cases, a network photographer in Texas traveled the fence segments and checked the GPS coordinates of each segment’s start and end points. A data reporter used mapping so ware to check those fence lines against satellite imagery. Ultimately, the team plotted all the fence location lines, and digital developers began the work of syncing the map and the video. As a result, users can pick a point on the interactive map, zoom in and see video of every foot of the border — and any fencing that is there. “It’s not just a at map,” ASU’s Lemar said. “It starts to have meaning.” The interactive map also highlights points of interest along the border. Users can see short documentaries and 360-degree videos taken from the ground. The result is a powerful digital map that provides an unprecedented look at the U.S.- Mexico border. “You can actually put yourself in that place now,” Lemar said.
Technologies Used
GIS software (such as QGIS, Global Mapper,) javascript libraries (such as Angular,) 3D rendering software (such as Unity,) and many more. See: https://www.usatoday.com/border-wall/usa-today-network-border-project-about-vr-podcasts-map/ for more details.