Close to half of FOI decisions were wrong

Close to half of FOI decisions were wrong

Organisation: SBS (Australia)

Publication Date: 03/02/2016


Size of team/newsroom:large


I made this to see what the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) had been up to, since the Australian government insists it's going to be replaced. As the story says, the government has tried to abolish the OAIC. This data was (at the time) not published in a format people could easily access, and that bothered me. So I made the data open. I also made the scraper script available to readers. I like to share everything - all data and details on methods - with my readers.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

This project required writing software at every step. It required scraping of more than 300 pages before I even knew I had a story. To my knowledge, it is the only dataviz and story about the OAIC's decisions that has been published to this level of detail. Users can look at all decisions, or filter the data by time and respondent. Links to the data and the scraper are on the story. I hope people will be interested in the effort to scrape the site as much as the dataviz itself.

Technologies used for this project:

Python - Beautiful Soup 4, Requests JavaScript - jQuery, d3js, c3js, numeralJS and momentJS Coffee- I'd estimate 20 cups
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