Candidates and Millions

Candidates and Millions

Organisation: Ojo-Publico.com (Peru)

Publication Date: 04/10/2016

Size of team/newsroom:small

Description

Candidates & Millions is a platform developed by Ojo-publico.com that follows the money of 10 years of electoral campaigns. The application analyzes the power relations and identifies the main financiers of political parties, and was released during the current electoral process in Peru (elections 2016). It is the first application in Peru that investigates and analyzes systematically the private money in the campaigne. The app reveals the finances of parties in a context of financial opacity. Candidates & Millions was developed during 6 months of investigation, and combines the methods of traditional journalism with massive data analysis of more than 3,000,000 records in spreadsheets. It was built with 52 information requests through the Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information, extraction of data from public institutions, and the crossed analysis of a dozen databases. The information of this app about the finance and private financiers of political parties was updated monthly, accompanied by a investigative series and reactions. The app reports the concentration of contributions in few political organizations, the millionaire contribution of questionable characters, and identifies how some candidates violate the law by exceeding the limits of cash contributions. It also analyzes the contributions from companies and power groups and offshore companies, and reveal inconsistencies: persons appearing as financiers, but who are in groups of extreme poverty. In an electoral context, Candidates and millions became a fundamental tool of transparency, reporting and monitoring for citizens, researchers and journalists.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Candidates & Millions is innovative because for the first time in Peru a news app makes transparent and investigates in an historical way the money trail in election campaigns, and because it was built and structured through a powerful database of 3 million records containing the names of individuals and companies who have contributed to the different political parties during a decade. This app is a tool for citizen oversight and political control, covering an information vacuum generated by the authorities more of 35 political organizations. Its innovative contribution is also in the use of technologies never before used in other Newsrooms in Peru.

Technologies used for this project:

The team was made up of journalists and programmers. Spreadsheets were used to build and structure the database, that was cleaned then with the Openrefine program. For analysis of such a large information data base we used a more complex software: Neo4J. The site was developed with javascript. Data extraction was made with scripts in phyton. Interactive graphics are entirely designed with D3.JS.

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