Project description

It was only in 2017 that Folha de S. Paulo, one of the largest media outlets in Brazil, has launched a data journalism desk (yes, I agree, it could be had done earlier). In this short period of life, we already have published a wide variety of projects, from politics to music, from sports to violence.

In all of them, there is a main goal: straightforward text and infographics, no matter how complex is the process to extract/analyse data.

For instance:

The Electoral GPS (GPS Eleitoral) categorized every post and video launched by all the presidential candidates in the 2018 election. This means one million words analysed in order to show, every week, which subjects every candidate prioritized.

By using statistical models to analyse millions of educational exams, that select freshmen to the best universities in the country, we found out thousands of exams as probably frauded.

By using a different statistical model, we were able to compare Jair Bolsonaro’s inaugural speech with 18 previous presidents (Bolsonaro barely mentioned economics and external affairs, for example).

Just a few hours after the presidential election, we published maps and infographics showing how Bolsonaro had captured former center-right electors, how education and income was related to his success (Bolsonaro was strongly supported in wealthy areas) and how the left was isolated in the Northeast.

By analysing every touch in the ball in the 2018 World Cup, we found out things had not going so well for the Brazilian team (some of the main players were failing badly, but few people had realized it). Also, we built a model to forecast scores using hundreds of “Fifa 18” matches (reaching a very decent outcome).

What makes this project innovative?

Simple texts and infographics coming from complex datasets and analyses is something not easy to aim. We pursue this outcome with a diverse team. Programing, scraping and analysing data is made by professionals from biology, political science or social science, now integrated in the newsroom. Journalists work together, along the whole process, in order to get the most compelling outcome to a general audience.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

As a general and large media outlet, we bring well constructed journalistic material to millions of people in the country, in both printed and digital platforms. Also, some of the projects have achieved more specific impact. After we publish the story about possible fraud in the most important educational exam in the country, the agency that runs this test announced new security procedures. Our tool that categorized the presidential campaign was mentioned by other media outlets, providing objective informations to even more readers about a so broad content.

Source and methodology

It varies from project to project.

Technologies Used

It varies from project to project.

Project members

Daniel Mariani, Guilherme Garcia, Leonardo Diegues, Marina Gama Cubas e Marina Merlo.


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