The invitation for the data driven journalism course provided by the KAS reached me a couple of days before I returned to Rio de Janeiro, my hometown, from an extended study trip to Europe. I am not a reporter from academic background, so using data to tell stories about my hometown, topic about which I have been writing for 5 years now, seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine my academic and professional skills, an MBA and former financial analyst, with my passion over Rio de Janeiro.
Together with David Klaubert, my german counterpart and partner on this project, we set out to investigate the public security politics and the pacifying police units. Several times we have been to the Santa Marta slum, the showcase favela where the pacifying policies seem to have found most success, and have been torn between several stories that scream out to be told. The stories of improving live conditions contrast with the open pit sewer that runs throughout the slum, top to bottom straight to the main square.
To tell a story using data was our challenge. And when it comes to security and favelas we have to say that data is everything but comprehensive and organized. In the mist of fragmented, hidden and incomplete data we humbly hope that we can tell a slice of that story, knowing that the topic needs and deserves a research that goes well beyond the effort we could scrap together in ten, very intensive, days of research.
However, contaRio me left with the certainty that the use of data journalism tools by young and engaged professionals has the potential to tell stories about our cities that are much more revealing than a statement from this or that person in writing. Numbers tell histories in a clear and manner and lets the reader draw its own conclusions.
Jan Kruger, 29, editor of caoscarioca, Rio de Janeiro