Novel analytic tool improves data journalism
Fraunhofer Institute Develops Data Analyses Software for the Tagesspiegel’s “Politician-Check”
Together with the Tagesspiegel editors in Berlin, the Fraunhofer IMW’s Competitive Intelligence unit has conceptualized and developed the software “Check Your Government” (CYGAR). This software forms the basis for the portal “Politician-Check”, released by the Tagesspiegel today at bundestag.tagesspiegel.de with a view to the Bundestag elections. With the help of the Tagesspiegel editors, the research team examines the available weekly data on special interest groups and their interaction with politicians in the Bundestag committees. For each member of the Bundestag, the “Politician-Check” analyzes thematic content, links to lobbyists and notices of political work appearing in the media and on social networks.
The Leipzig researchers developed the data analysis software for the “Politician Check” through innovation workshops and in continuous feedback loops with the editorial team of the Tagesspiegel. The end product was a system that precisely complements the work of the journalists. “It was great to develop a challenging and versatle tool for political reporting in the Check Your Government project, working with engaged and creative colleagues from both worlds. On the basis of CYGAR, the Tagesspiegel editors are able to research and visualize interesting stories, especially in the year of the Bundestag election,” said Ingrid Müller, Tagesspiegel editor-in-chief and editorial board member. The software analyzes the interaction between politicians and special interest groups, for example, which stakeholders or lobbyists have been involved in which committees and which bills have been worked on by which representatives.
The question of which journalistic research approaches result in greater transparency during the legislative process was a guiding theme for the development of “Check Your Government”. “Novel data analysis tools and agile software development are very helpful for this purpose”, says JProf. Dr. Lutz Maicher, who heads the Fraunhofer IMW project with his research team from the institute’s Competitive Intelligence unit.
Further information is available at http://bundestag.tagesspiegel.de/info.
The data journalism project is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung.
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