A Conta dos Passaralhos (Journalists Layoffs in Brazil)

A Conta dos Passaralhos (Journalists Layoffs in Brazil)

Organisation: Volt Data Lab (Brazil)

Publication Date: 04/11/2017


Size of team/newsroom:small


A Conta dos Passaralhos (Journalists Layoffs in Brazil) is a database about how many journalists were fired from Brazilian newsrooms. This project gives a statistical dimension about the current situation of the Brazilian journalistic profession, amid a clear lack of proper employment for journalists, reduced investments in new, data and investigative teams and the remodeling (for better or worse) of the industry's business models. The audience is mostly composed by journalists and communications professionals, and the project's data has been used as source for several news reports and academic studies. It is entirely supported by the Brazilian data journalism agency Volt Data Lab, and all its data and code are open source, and there are no plans of monetization as of April 2017. The project started as a couple of news stories made by Volt in mid-2015, but later evolved to be a whole database, published in September 2016.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Because there is no official data about layoffs inside news media companies, it was very hard to have a clear idea of how many journalists were being pushed out of this industry. This was the first project to do this data compilation in a methodological, structure way. Journalists layoffs are hardly a new phenomena all over the world, but in Brazil there was a sense that too many of them were being fired of newsrooms. No union, association, federal or government in Brazil kept track of this data, so the impact of this project is clear: it gives people and media professionals a starting point at figuring out what is happening in their field. Government tracks data about unemployment in certain areas, but their data include communication officers, public relation officers and journalism graduates working in marketing and related fields, but there was no data about layoffs of actual journalists working in newsrooms specifically. Now there is.

Technologies used for this project:

This project is entirely hosted in GitHub Pages and uses: - Jekyll (as publishing platform); - D3 and D3plus (for data visualization); - Google Sheets (to make data more palatable for use); - An API in json format
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