Tag Archives: human rights

Building the first central database of victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime

Bombings in Barcelona in 1938

Bombings in Barcelona in 1938 (Image by Italian Airforce under CC)

In a guest post for OJB, Carla Pedret looks at a new data journalism project to catalogue what happened during the Spanish Civil War.

125,000 people died, disappeared or were repressed in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and during the Franco dictatorship, according to historians. Many of their families still do not know, 40 years later, what exactly happened to them.

Now the Innovation and Human Rights (IHR) association has created the first central database of casualties, missing persons and reprisals during the Spanish Civil War and under Francoism.

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The Human Journalism project in Spain

periodismo humano

The journalist and photographer Javier Bauluz is the only Spanish winner of the Pullitzer. He has published a preview of his next project, focused on journalism and human rights, at periodismohumano.com.

“The responsibility of the crisis: the greed of a few and the lack of controls from whom should control them, the representatives of the people and the toxic journalism that reports the reality only in terms of the media corporations’ political and economic interest”.

Such is Bauluz’s view of the current media crisis.

He then describes a picture well-known to anyone who has ever worked in big media: “There are more and more tired journalists, many hostages in their newsrooms, doing and saying what they’re told”.

With this perspective in mind, Bauluz thinks that the only solution to reconstruct journalism is for groups of colleagues to get together and organise online, supported by citizens, foundations and philanthropists. So we can say that non-profit journalism is not only an American or English idea.

“First it was an option, now it’s a need,” argues the Pulitzer prizewinner.

Using the WordPress platform (and its open source benefits), periodismohumano.com will see daylight in the following weeks with the Universal Declaration of Human Right as their only flag and with all content available in all possible formats:

“If you want to save whales, you’re a member of Greenpeace; if you want doctors in Somalia, you’re a member of Doctors Without Borders; if you want quality information, you’re a member of Periodismo Humano (Human Journalism)”.

Why fantasy football may hold the key to the future of news

This season, after years of loyalty to the BBC/Channel 4 fantasy football competition, I’ve switched to The Guardian’s. Their game takes advantage of the reams of player data now available to newspapers – not just goals scored, clean sheets and assists, but also clearances, interceptions, tackles, shots on target, and so on, making for a very different challenge indeed.

The move mirrors that made by The Telegraph a year ago when they introduced a Flash element to their match reports that allowed you to look at an incredible range of match statistics. As I wrote at the time: it’s like having your own ProZone.

What’s all this got to do with the future of news? This: data. It’s one of the few advantages that news organisations have, and they should be doing more with it. What the Guardian fantasy football and the Telegraph demonstrate is the flexibility of that data.

And if we can do it in sport, why aren’t we doing it more elsewhere? Schools tables, pollution records, crime data, geotagged information, and election results are just a few that spring to mind – can you add some more?

For a good example of a particularly creative use of data (again with a sport twist), see Channel 4’s alternative Olympics medals table, which matches medals results against various other country stats, such as human rights record.

Oh, and by the way, if you want to join my fantasy football friends’ league, search for Game 39 – or just post a comment below…

More database-related posts

Human rights violations video site launched

Mexico Reporter reports the launch of The Hub by human rights organization Witness to “allow people to publicize events or situations violating human rights using hand-held cameras or mobile phones. They gather material, upload it onto the Hub, and then tell viewers what they can do to help raise awareness of the problem and create change”

In reality, the videos on view at the moment don’t necessarily include the ‘what viewers can do’ element (which admittedly is asking a lot), but there is a specific ‘Take Action’ section. A good example of the ‘how’ of my Five Ws and a H.