Two Bureau projects - a tool for crunching drone strike data and an expose of a secret Pentagon propaganda operation - have been shortlisted out of more than 500 entries in the Data Journalism Awards 2017. The international competition, run by the Global Editors Network, recognises outstanding work in the field of data journalism.
An online tool for crunching our extensive data on the US drone war in Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan was shortlisted in the news data app of the year category.
The tool allows people to search the Bureau's unique database of strikes and casualty figures, with the option to apply particular filters and and create bespoke, shareable visualisations. It was designed by Publish.org, developed by James Jefferies at ShedCode.co.uk and launched in February. The code used to make the tool is available for anyone to use on the Bureau’s Github repository.
Fake News and False Flags: How the Pentagon paid a British PR firm $500 million for top secret Iraq propaganda was shortlisted in the Investigation of the Year category.
Bureau reporters Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith drew on a database they had developed containing millions of US federal procurement records, in order to follow a trail of Pentagon spending in Iraq to controversial British PR company Bell Pottinger. Pairing the data with a first-hand account from a former Bell Pottinger employee allowed us to reveal how the PR firm was tasked with making short TV segments in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them. The story was published in partnership with the Sunday Times and the Daily Beast.
The full shortlist can be found here. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 22 in Vienna.