The brutal toll of Boko Haram’s attacks on civilians

The brutal toll of Boko Haram’s attacks on civilians

Organisation: The Washington Post (United States)

Publication Date: 04/13/2016

Applicant(s)

Size of team/newsroom:large

Description

Our graphics department has created several graphics surrounding ISIS and the group's terror attacks. Given the chance to shine a light on a different (albeit ISIS-affiliated) group that has mowed down thousands, my editor and I decided the topic was deserving of its own page. We used data compiled by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, which tracks political violence in African and Asian countries. We filtered the data to include only those attacks carried out by Boko Haram and aimed at civilians. The resulting dataset showed thousands of people killed since 2011, with more than 6,000 fatalities just in 2015. Mary Beth Sheridan contributed a year-by-year synopsis of the group's activities to accompany the maps showing attacks by year.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

This project gave us a chance to combine an analytical, data-driven approach to the topic with a more emotional narrative. We tried to give a more complete picture of the terror campaign by using photos and some textual accounts of Boko Haram attacks. For social media, we created a gif that showed how much the attacks and fatalities had ramped up in the past few years.

Technologies used for this project:

The maps were produced by plotting ACLED data in QGIS. The graphics were designed in Adobe Illustrator. The graphics on the page were run through Ai2HTML, an open-source tool.
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