GIJN Help Desk, Investigating the Vatican, Global FOIA...
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GIJN Bulletin -- October 18, 2016

New Help Desk Gets Strong Start

GIJN's Help Desk, launched last month in response to the hundreds of requests we get, is off to a strong start. September, in fact, was our busiest month ever, with nearly 80 requests for assistance. Got a question about investigative reporting? Want to start a media nonprofit? Looking for sources on the other side of the world? If our dozens of tip sheets and resources can't help, you can tap the expertise of GIJN's global network of 100 top journalists in 43 countries who have volunteered their time.

Investigating the Vatican

The job of journalists in Italy investigating the Catholic Church has changed. The media is dedicating more space to these stories, while internal factions within the Church have given an advantage to reporters on the Vatican beat. But dealing with the topic can still be quite tricky. Read more in this exclusive story by Alessia Cerantola, co-founder of the Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI). 

FOI Laws a Global Success Story

The folks at have brought together remarkable case studies of requests under freedom of information laws worldwide. The results are strikingly consistent: when the media and citizens are guaranteed access to information, transparency and accountability increase for all.  

A Scraper to Measure MPs

Belgian data journalist Maarten Lambrechts wanted to investigate reports that some Flemish Members of Parliament were "doing nothing." So what to do? "You turn to the numbers," he writes in this popular post. Here's how he built a scraper and plotted MP activity for the daily De Tijd.
Also on

Top Ten #ddj (Oct. 3-8): spy plane viz; ggplot2; graphics origins; open source search tools; Colombia drinking water; and moreGIJN & Connected Action.  

Top Ten #ddj (Sept. 26- Oct. 1): future journo tech-jobs; data viz projects; isotype chart generator; and moreGIJN & Connected Action.  
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Tips & Tools 

5 Online Databases to Find Sources, journalismnews

CIR's Impact Tracker, Reveal

Open Data Resource Centre, Open Data Charter

Social Media Sources Guide, FirstDraftNews

Sustainability Disclosure Database, GRI

6 Tips for 360° videos, IJNet

UN-Habitat Urban Data, UN Habitat

Stories of the Week 

Nepal: Who's Afraid of the CIAA?, Nepali Times

US: Pentagon Paid for Fake Al Qaeda Videos, Daily Beast

Ukraine: Corruption Fuels Illegal Logging, Kyiv Post

Peru: Stolen Art, OjoPublico

Tanzania: Farmers Risk Prison over Seed Exchange, MO

US: Oxycontin's 12-hour problem, LATimes

Philippines: 'Hit Lists' in Duterte Drug War, Reuters 

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