2019 Winners

The 12 winners of the Data Journalism Awards 2019 were finally revealed on 14 June at an award ceremony and gala dinner during the GEN Summit held at Athens. The jury, led by Reginald Chua and which consists of some of the most prominent leaders in the data journalism industry, picked the 12 winners and one honorable mention out of 103 shortlisted entries.

The winners were celebrated by 200 of their peers from the global data journalism community in the 131-year-old Zappeion in Athens.

We received over a thousand votes for this year’s Public Choice Award. And we are very proud to announce that with 36% of the votes, this award went to “This is how thin you have to be, to walk the catwalk”, by NOS, Netherlands.

The prize for each winner was an all-expenses-covered trip to Athens, Greece to attend the GEN Summit and the award ceremony, as well as a trophy designed by Fernando Santos, from Lisbon, Portugal.

Here is the list of all the winners of the Data Journalism Awards 2019 competition.

Investigation of the year

Winner: Hurricane Maria’s Dead

Organisation: AP, Center for Investigative Journalism, Quartz

Country/area: Puerto Rico, United States

Jury’s comment: The deaths in Puerto Rico have been such an overlooked story. The telling of this story represents the best of investigative journalism. This work forced the Puerto Rican government to recognise its woefully inaccurate death toll, and to initiate its own research.

The journalists involved brought rigor to the project through the use of data analysis and parsing through many types of information. They then gave careful consideration to the storytelling, from developing a virtual remembrance wall to using a Puerto Rican artist’s work in the visual display. The visualisation that represented deaths from Hurricane Maria also told the individual stories in compelling fashion.


Best use of data in a breaking news story, within the first 36 hours

Winner: Indonesia Plane Crash

Organisation: Reuters

Country/area: United States

Jury’s comment: This is a textbook example of a great breaking news graphic. It tells you everything you need to know at a glance in a beautiful, engaging way. Outstanding work under intense time pressure.


Best use of data in a breaking news story, within the first 36 hours

Honorable Mention: Every Time Ford and Kavanaugh Dodged a Question

Organisation: Vox

Country/area: United States

Jury’s comment: Reporting evasive answers is hard; visualising it is even trickier. Vox’s chart told the story elegantly and effectively. It depicted a Senate hearing as data, comparing witnesses, time and evasions. Importantly, the chart let readers click see the actual response—and thus inspect Vox’s subjective assessment.


The Mytilineos award for best individual portfolio

Winner: Eva Belmonte

Organisation: Civio, The Civio Foundation

Country/area: Spain

Jury’s comment: The methodology, depth and execution and impact in this portfolio is impressive. Eva’s work stands out because she not only helps readers understand, but also provides them with tools to explore the data and to take action.


The Microsoft News award for student and young data journalist of the year

Winner: Dada Lyndell

Organisation: RBC.ru

Country/area: Russian Federation

Jury’s comment: Dada Lyndell’s data work is impressive both in scope and depth. The way Dada turns numbers into stories with social impact shows both commitment and a lot of courage especially when challenging the official narrative in Russia. Dada’s work on healthcare, politics, business and on the intersection of the three sets a powerful example for data journalists worldwide.


The Google award for best data journalism team portfolio (large newsroom)

Winner: La Nacion

Organisation: La Nación

Country/area: Argentina

Jury’s comment: The data team at Argentina’s La Nacion has ambitious goals. Its work – which includes investing in building and cleaning datasets for stories and for the public — is squarely aimed at accountability. Last year, its portfolio included “The Driver’s Notebooks of Corruption,” which led to 73 prosecutions; a partnership to publish government contracts for drug purchases; and monitoring legislation and allowing readers to review voting records. The team’s integration into the newsroom, range of projects and use of multiple skills come together to form a team that has lasting impact.


The AP award for best data journalism team portfolio (small newsroom)

Winner: Hate Crime Watch

Organisation: Factchecker.in

Country/area: India

Jury’s comment: The Factchecker.in team have performed an important public service in tracking and making available a database of religion-based hate crimes in India, filling a key gap in official statistics. The collaborative effort allows users to better understand trends in hate crime incidents, including by geography, local government in power, or religious group targeted – and that, hopefully, can lead to a better-informed public and better public policy on this issue.


Data visualisation of the year

Winner: The Race to Save the River Ganges

Organisation: Reuters

Country/area: United States

Jury’s comment: In “The race to save the river Ganges”, Reuters’ datagraphics team used striking photos, animated mapping and government pollution data to question the reality of India’s bold promise to clean up by next year the flood of industrial waste and raw sewage that pollutes the drinking water of 400 million people. The report juxtaposes pictures of the tens of millions of faithful Hindus at religious festivals who bathe, drink and have their cremated ashes spread in the goddess Ganges with detailed data of the sources of the 6 billion litters of toxic wastewater that flow into the Ganges each day from more than 160 major urban drains along its 2,500km path.


The JSK Fellowships award for innovation in data journalism

Winner: Radmesser

Organisation: Der Tagesspiegel

Country/area: Germany

Jury’s comment: Der Tagesspiegel’s Radmesser project sets a new standard for innovation across multiple fields: community journalism, open data, and an impressive mix of hardware and software. This team ingeniously used machine learning libraries and sensors deployed on on volunteers’ bicycles to quantify and tell impactful stories about cyclist safety in their city. The project continues to contribute to cyclist safety everywhere by open sourcing their data and sensor code for public reuse.


News data app

Winner: The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant

Organisation: The Marshall Project, The New York Times

Country/area: United States

Jury’s comment: This extraordinary news app uses data as evidence to demystify the topic of immigration and its correlation to crime; it allows users to build their own experience segmented by metropolitan areas and by category of crime. The data and analysis were built in collaboration with experts and universities and the end result is a great resource and example for data journalist.


Open data award

Winner: OCCRP Data

Organisation: Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)

Country/area: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jury’s comment: The Organized Crime and Corruption Research Project (OCCRP) and its member centers have combined leaked document sets, public records, and scraped data into a coherent picture that makes it easier to follow the money. The magnitude of OCCRP Data is unprecedented in the investigative journalism community – in total that is 21 TB of documents and 1180 database tables with a total size of 1.2 TB data of public interest structured into a single resource. OCCRP has really conducted data collection and analysis at impressive scale and diversity, and provides a unique searchable topography of economic and political power. The platform is user-friendly with support for multiple languages and alphabets, optical character recognition, named entity extraction, among other useful features. It is an excellent example of leveraging open data, and making it even more powerful by enhancing the availability, quality, and accessibility of datasets.


The SEMrush award for data journalism website of the year

Winner: The Pudding

Organisation: The Pudding

Country/area: United States

Jury’s comment: The site is a remarkable assortment of data visualisations, typified by extraordinary data collection (as in “Women’s pocket sizes”), sophisticated data processing (as in “Vogue covers”) and a design that is both sumptuous (like “Population mountains”) and straightforward (like “American anxieties”). Taken together, The Pudding sets the high-water mark of the medium.


The Public Choice Award

WinnerThis is how thin you have to be, to walk the catwalk

Organisation: NOS

Country/area: Netherlands

Despite promised culture changes bundled in a Models Health Pledge, the high fashion industry still requires models to have a 90 cm or less hip size. In order to walk on the catwalk, models need to have the ideal sizes. This production looks into the effects of these demands on models health.