House of Cash: The true cost of pay and perks for our politicians

House of Cash: The true cost of pay and perks for our politicians

Organisation: Irish Mirror and irishmirror.ie (Ireland)

Publication Date: 04/12/2016

Size of team/newsroom:small

Description

Getting information about the pay and expenses earned by Irish representatives is like drawing blood from a stone. We were determined nonetheless to give our readers a full picture of how much their representatives had earned - and what expenses they'd claimed - during Ireland's 31st Government from 2011 - 2015 Over a period of three months we collected, collated and analysed data obtained using the Freedom of Information Act from multiple government departments. The results became an exclusive four0part investigation which exposed the lavish pay, perks and expenses our politicans were enjoying on the taxpayer's dime - from first class travel to to top of the range smart phones. The investigation excited both our editorial and commercial team. The expose was back by a TV campaign, and it delivered a 5% sales boost for the Irish Daily Mirror print edition when it was published. Parts 2, 3 and four of the investigation can be found at the following links: http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/politics/irelands-political-expenses-shame-reveal-5867078 http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/politics/irelands-political-expenses-shame-find-5869738 http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/politics/irelands-political-expenses-shame-government-5867391

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

We created a widget which allowed readers to simply type in their TD's name and find out instantly how much they'd earned and claimed during their time in Government.

Technologies used for this project:

FOI to obtain the raw data, much of which was supplied in hard copy Adobe Acrobat to convert scanned pages of data into excel spreadsheets. Excel and pivot sheets to clean and analyse the data Info:gram, Excel and inhouse charting tools on escenic to produce charts and visualisations for the content
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