La Tercera is one of the most important legacy newspapers in Chile, and during the past years, has been going through an important digital transformation. As part of this process, the Interactives Narratives area was created, being one of their main tasks to create and develop multimedia, graphics, interactive products for La Tercera. Although we cover all kinds of topics and areas of journalism (from sports and investigative), data-driven content has become part of our core.
We’re a very small team, with no more than 4 people regularly. We don’t even have inside our team a full-time designer or developer, of course, no data scientist. At first glance, this seems like a disadvantage, however, as allowed us to grow partnerships with different areas of the newsroom and also other areas of the paper. We like to think that we have helped them in return to learn more about digital journalism, audiences and product.
Being a small team has also pushed us to develop a lot of different abilities beyond our original areas and that has been fun and motivating. We do a lot of different stuff and we work a lot. Is not always entertaining but we feel very proud of what we bring to the organization.
During the three years of existence of the Interactive Narrative Teams we’ve developed around 30 features, interactives, multimedia specials and help in a lot of other stuff, like newsletters, live shows and a long list. It has been fun!
Why we should be considered for this award? Like a member of our team would say, because it’s impressive the kind of things we do with such little time and resources. Our competitors tend to think we are a gigantic team with a lot of opportunities but most of the time is not the case. However, the quality of our work tells another story.
We push the limits of the organization and always try to be innovative despite, sometimes, some resistance. So yes, we deserve recognition without question. We know a lot of folks out there do really impressive things, but we also do cool this, we a lot of impact, mostly because of our determination of doing it.
Description of portfolio:
We begin our project with one question: how we could help our audiences to understand the constitutional process and get to know the candidates that aspired to write the new Chilean constitution (and their positions on key topics).
So we started by building a dataset with detailed information of all the candidates to the Constitutional Convention, even before the official data was published. There were almost 1500 candidates, most of them normal citizens who wanted to participate.
We also created, with an expert panel, a questionnaire about the most important topics regarding the new constitution. Then, we contacted every one of the candidates to apply an online survey. It took about three months to have around 90% of the candidates’ answers. We used this same method of data gathering later with the presidential and Congress candidates, our Electoral Match.
We chose to play with the concept of “make a Match” -from dating apps like Tinder- with the candidate which had more in common with every person, crossing the answers of every candidate with the answers from the users. It paid off. The audience connected very quickly with the idea and even made memes around the Match.
After people discovered who their Match was, they had the opportunity of looking at the page we built for each candidate with their full profile, so they could get to know them. We developed detailed bios for each one, so throughout that these pages have become an “alternative Wikipedia”, and for a lot of the conventionals elected is the first page that shows ups in a Google search.
It was a success, but we had the new challenge after the election: to analyze the data to profile the Constitutional Convention and let to know people which were the main tendencies.
We did this in two stages. First, on the very next day of the election, with a more simple page, with graphics and illustrations made with our designer and iconographer. It worked like a charm and was very viral. But on the day the constitutional convention started, we launched a data visualization build with D3, where we showed all our data and made a crossing between the answers of the conventionals and different characteristics in detail. Months later, we improved this same exercise with the data of the elected Congress.
By the time the presidential election was coming, we had to upgrade our game, so we made an alliance with the data scientist Jorge Fábrega. People then could discover their Match in the candidates for the presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, checking how many answers had in common with the candidates, and later could find out in which part of an ideological map there were located, between the candidates. To do this, Fábrega used the scaling method NOMINATE, visualizing this in a one ax graphic for the Congress, and two axes -like the classic Political Compass- for president.
Overall, we had 12 million pageviews in the profiles of the candidates, a 1 million in the Constituent Match and also 1 million in the Electoral Match.
We have been iterating this products for more than a year now and we’re very proud with the result. We created an interactive, intuitive and entertaining tool to help people be involved and participate in such an important election process we had during 2021. At the same time, we built datasets with information that no other media have and that let us publish relevant and interesting analyses about the elected bodies and the possible political outcomes of these elections in the future of our country.