RBC (RosBusinessConsulting, rbc.ru) – a media holding, one of the largest independent newsrooms in Russia by coverage and audience. It’s specialized in business news, reports on corruption, abuse of power and other investigations.
Data is used by most RBC reporters. Some projects realized in 2018-2019 are strongly based on data though. They either help the audience to get the data people are interested at which is not published in clean and unsophisticated way, or provide the public with thorough analysis of certain events.
What makes this project innovative?
RBC is among the few news outlets in Russia that use data-journalism on daily basis. We analyse big data (open-sourced or provided by companies) to make projects helpful for government and business decision-making. We thoroughly search for open-source data and show the audience the very essence of it to help people to make better business decisions or better living and to hold officials accountable. In 2018, RBC data-journalism team has delivered around 100 pieces of pure data-journalism and participated in about 100 other stories born in the newsroom to strengthen the classic journalist reports with data. On the other hand, reporters participated in developing of the data-driven articles to enrich it with those who was affected by the discovered phenomena.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Our audience is medium and small-sized business, corporations top-management and conscious Russians. Thousands of people share our visualizations on landfills enlargement to discuss how to stop that process and hold government accountable. In 2018 we realized that RBC “500 Rating” of biggest Russian companies was used in report to Congress to select the companies and top managers that should be sanctioned by the USA (https://www.rbc.ru/economics/30/01/2018/5a7059d79a79471b8a4486f5). Each data-driven project reached from several hundred thousand to millions of Russians. Facts discovered by analysis of data appear to be topics discussed in Kremlin or make local officials implement measures if data shows some problems. The revelation of health statistics (on HIV, obesity, cancer, doctors visiting, etc) was widely cited as well as revelation of the fact that courts issue less and less verdicts of not guilty and assets declarations data compiled by the reporters.
Source and methodology
We publish our methodology everytime as we are liable to our audience. The source of data for the Sanctions project (link 1) were the US Department of Treasury and EUR-Lex. In Crimea project (link 2) we used data of Russian statistics body, Ukranian statistics body, Ministry of Finance and other open data. In "RBC 500" rating (link 3) we use financial reports and request data from companies. In Landfill Wind Rose project (link 4) we used data from Moscow weather stations and landfill data from official decrees.
We Python, Tableau, Google Spreadsheets for analysis and database collection and visualization (plus Adobe Illusrator for visualization)
The whole newsroom participates.