elDiario.es Data Team
Entry type: Portfolio
Publishing organisation: elDiario.es
Organisation size: Big
elDiario.es is a digital news site which has become a major reference in current affairs for a new generation of Spanish readers, and also a pioneer in high quality content and innovative business model worldwide.
Since its inception, elDiario.es has opted for data journalism as a way to create quality content for subscribers and also to reach new audiences in Spain. Since 2015, our data team has always been a small data unit with at least two journalists who have based their work on constant collaboration with the entire newsroom. In 2022, the data journalism team was formed by 4 team members.
This year, our inflation and climate change crisis coverage proves that this team has had a public service role. First, using data analysis, interactive narrative, and visualization of complex issues to make them understandable, and second, as useful tools and stories to help readers make better decisions on a day-to-day basis.
And also this year we published big investigations and visual stories beyond them about health, social inequalities, climate change and urbanism. Precisely, our work philosophy has always been to visualize and explain things in the simplest way to the reader and collaborate with all the journalists in the newsroom to search stories and do better, accessible and understandable data journalism.
elDiario.es was launched in the middle of the financial crisis in 2012 with no big investors or corporates backing it – just a bunch of journalists and their savings – and it has developed a community-based journalism model reaching mainstream audiences with scarce resources. Among the dozens of new digital projects born in the past decade in Spain, elDiario.es stands out.
More than 12M unique users per month now read elDiario.es and that figure grows every month. It is the most widely read native digital media outlet in Spain, according to the Spanish Sociological Research Center.
The key business innovation is the ‘membership program’ – more than 60.000 people (“socios”) already give financial support to elDiario.es in order to strengthen our editorial and economic independence. But it is not a paywall: the “socios” of elDiario.es do not pay to read the news, they pay for the information to be freely spread and thus gain social impact. They pay to belong to a community of citizens sharing values like equality, democratization, social justice and more importantly, the need for independent journalism.
Our business model has remained the same since our foundation, but when the coronavirus crisis hit, the media experienced financial difficulties. In order to handle this situation, we decided to barely change our business model and make an evolution of it, always keeping our foundational principles: elDiario.es will continue to be free for those who cannot pay but it will be necessary to be a member to read it regularly.
In a world where manipulation and propaganda advance, we do not want our journalism to be left behind a wall that excludes people based on their income. This evolution in our business model has brought to our community 18,000 new members and thousands of existing readers stepped in.
Thanks to them elDiario.es is also a profitable company and can support innovative data journalism. Nowadays, our community represents more than 50% of our annual income. And in order to be fully transparent with their contribution, we annually publish our financial accounts. This good practice has become an expected date for the audience who perceives us as a trustful and reliable newsroom.
Description of portfolio:
2022 was the year we finally forgot the pandemic but faced war in Europe and the worst inflation crisis of the XXI century. When life returned to “normal”, millions of people all over the world saw how their shopping basket and the energy bill skyrocketed and how the consequences of climate change blew up in their face.
This is the 2022 coverage by elDiario.es data team, formed by Raúl Sánchez, Ana Ordaz, Victòria Oliveres and Carmen Martínez, of the year in which we explained the effect of numbers and data (prices, energy, inequality, taxes, or climate change) on people’s lives.
The team’s work during the year has been conditioned by tracing the inflation crisis. We have daily and weekly updated visualizations of the rise of cost of living, always improving the pieces according to the informative and public interest. We tracked the price indexes of more than 200 products on the shopping cart of an average household that helped us to prove inflation moved from energy bills to basic food products like milk. This tracker helped our readers to make better informed decisions about their purchases.
We also published a daily updated map with fuel prices in all Spanish gas stations that allowed every reader to know where it was cheaper to refuel and a piece to calculate how much your mortgage could rise with new interest rates. But this coverage wasn’t limited only to following the numbers as a public service role. We also published big explainer stories about how the electricity marginal market works where we revealed that we are paying water, sun and wind at gas prices. This analysis of more than 8 million records helped us later to explain the Government measures to cap gas prices.
Tracking the inflation crisis conditioned our daily workflow but it did not prevent us from being able to publish great in-depth investigations and visual reports. For example, our journalistic investigation “Give birth with a scalpel” reveals for the first time in Spain the rate of cesarean sections in all public and private hospitals and shows how the probability of giving birth with a C-section in Spain depends on the hospital a woman goes to. We also published an investigation which revealed inequalities in cancer treatment access in each municipality. We proved with open and public data that 10% of the Spanish population would have to travel for more than two hours to get treatment.
Summer 2022 in Spain showed consequences of climate change. To track the hottest summer in history, we followed the spread of heatwaves, wildfires, mortality and drought. We published stories confirming with open data which cities set a new record-high temperature, how tropical nights skyrocketed with climate change, how heat waves raised mortality or that water reservoirs were suffering the worst drought in decades.
Inflation put the tax debate on the agenda and we achieved public impact with The Great Gap, is a journalistic project focused on the increasing inequalities between rich and poor in the country and reveals holes in the taxation system that allows millionaires and large companies to pay less taxes for their capital gains and business profits.
Our 2022 coverage also included social and culture stories like our analysis of 1.000 name’s popularity to show how Spanish parents choose shorter and original names, the story about streaming borders that explain how Non-English speaking movies and TV series are conquering the world or our urbanism project that explores how each city has grown according to the year of birth of each reader using footprint data of more than 12 million buildings.