2022 Shortlist

elDiario.es data team

Country/area: Spain

Organisation: elDiario.es

Organisation size: Big

Cover letter:

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.
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 – elDiario.es 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 (ComScore Mmx) now read eldiario.es and that figure grows every month. And elDiario.es 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 bearly 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 elDiario.es 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. 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.
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. Now, the data journalism team is formed by 3 journalists. 
This year, our Covid-19 and vaccination 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 an early warning of the evolution of the epidemic for our readers. In fact, the 3 most read pieces of news of the year in elDiario.es were created by the data team: our covid trackers. 
And also this year we published big investigations and visual stories beyond Covid-19 about employment, 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.

Description of portfolio:

This is the 2021 coverage by the data unit of elDiario.es, formed by Raúl Sánchez, Ana Ordaz and Victòria Oliveres, of the first year after the COVID-19 pandemic. All the pieces that integrate this portfolio have been carried out working from home in 3 different cities, a challenge that has ended with a rewarding and useful result for the public. In fact, only our COVID-19 trackers sums around the 2% of elDiario.es total views in 2021.
The team’s work during the year has been conditioned by tracing the pandemic. We have continued to update every day and every week of the year the visualizations of the evolution of the new waves of cases and deaths in Spain and the world, always improving the pieces according to the informative interest of each moment. This year, we also included our tracker on the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
The coverage of the vaccination campaign by the Data team of elDiario.es wasn’t limited only to following the numbers as public service role but we also published great explaining stories of how mortality was plummeting thanks to the inoculation and dozens of stories denouncing global inequality in the distribution of vaccines between rich and poor countries. In addition, we also published exclusives where we had to fight the Government for accessing data such as the first mortality map in Spain at the municipality level.
Tracking the coronavirus 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 special project “Spain lives in apartments” that analyzes and maps the footprint of more than 12 million buildings in the country to explain why Spain is one of the countries that has built the highest and most dense cities compared to other metropolises of the world.
Also the analyzes that we publish on the labor market that remained after the pandemic, where we reveal exclusive data obtained by transparency of the levels of temporary employment in Spain that suppose the creation and destruction of an average of 100,000 jobs every day or the gaps that exist in the unemployment rate depending on your gender, age, region or educational level.
The team also prepared the coverage of the regional elections in Madrid and Catalonia, including the maps and live visualizations for election night and also publishing analysis stories or visual reports on the political exclusion gaps between rich and poor neighborhoods.
Much of our work was dedicated to compensating for the lack of transparency and accessibility of data published by public administrations. In addition to correcting and compiling figures related to Covid-19, the team extracted from thousands of PDF pages the list of assets registered by the Church with irregular processes in Spain to publish the database to the public and facilitate claims.
Apart from the Covid-19 data and the other investigations, we also monitored the summer heat waves and published a tracker of how the temperatures of all the Spanish capitals evolve day by day, in a bet to create content of personal interest for readers and also as an early warning.

Project links: