2022 Shortlist

Laura Aragó

Country/area: Spain

Organisation: La vanguardia

Organisation size: Big

Cover letter:

It’s challenging, demanding and frustrating (sometimes). I felt data journalism was a bit like this 8 years ago when I made my first steps as a recent graduate student and I still feel quite the same about it. And somehow it’s part of the magic: each article is an opportunity to explore new techniques for turning data into stories. The precision offered by the data, stills seems to me the best way to explain the changes in our society. And most important, to report what consequences it has on citizens.
I have dedicated almost my entire short professional career to data journalism. Most of it working as a full-time employee at La Vanguardia, a Spanish newspaper based in Barcelona. Founded in 1881 it is considered one of the oldest newspapers in the Iberian Peninsula and currently has about 200 hundred journalists on staff. Despite its long journey in paper format, it has a short history -almost 2 years- as a first digital newsroom.
As the only member of the data unit in the newspaper the last six years have been an endless roller coaster: I have learned how to be a better journalist, how to code (or at least try it) to offer some kind of interactivity to articles, how to get the most out of data analysis, and how to convince managers that it was necessary to invest more resources in data journalism.
During these years a network of excellent professionals around the world, always willing to help, and a constant flow of wonderful examples of data journalism have been an engine to continue learning. Whenever possible, I have tried to turn numbers into human stories that help potential readers to better understand what a bunch of numbers mean. And I have found in cartography a powerful tool to locate these stories about the territory.

Description of portfolio:

In almost all articles I’ve used public data from institutions; R and QGis to download, process, clean and analyze data; html and javascript to make the data visualizations. Described below:
Demographic imbalance: The most populated square kilometer in Europe. Demographers say that talent always emerges in the most populated places. If the concentration of population is synonymous with creativity, then the neighborhood of Florida, in L’Hospitalet, and that of Clignancourt, north of Paris, are its greatest exponents. Florida and Clignancourt, the two most populated places in Europe, live parallel realities a thousand kilometers apart: more than 50,000 inhabitants in just one square kilometer, a community of neighbors that perfectly embodies the melting pot of cultures that coexist in Europe and the same soundtrack, the drill. Tools: R, javascript, mapbox and datawrapper
Public transport vs private: The car continues to be the most effective means of transport in the large Spanish cities. Thousands of citizens choose, every day, to leave aside public transport and move around in a private vehicle. And it’s not surprising: economic reasons aside, in the big Spanish cities you can get almost ten times farther by car in 15 minutes than by public transport. Urban areas are stuck between an insufficient public transport network and a network of roads clogged with cars. In a context of climate crisis and energy emergency, the commitment to public transport is running late and the time to build a network at the level of the great European capitals is running out. Tools: qgis, mapbox, javascript, observable, illustrator. Laura (analysis, dataviz) and Carles (writing).
How sea level rise will affect your city. Tool: qgis, mapbox, javascript, datawrapper.
Smothered renters: one in four have trouble paying rent. There is a broad consensus that establishes that a family should not spend more than 30% of their income on rent in order to cover the rest of the expenses with a minimum of comfort. When this figure exceeds 40%, families enter a situation of risk and high residential stress. In large cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, ​​a quarter of the population lives in areas where rent eats up, on average, more than 30% of household income. Tools: r, mapbox, scrollama, javascript.
Catalan elections: Vox (the far right party) takes root in the lost ground of Ciudadanos. Explain the increase of the far right in the catalan territory. Tools: python, r, mapbox, datawrapper.
The Generation gap. Stopper generation: the broken axis of the social elevator. There are two generations – the X and the millennials- who have difficulties developing their lives due to the existence of a previous generation that acts as a buffer: they concentrate decision-making positions in companies, administration , universities, unions and the cultural world and, as a consequence, slow down the professional promotion of later generations and artistic, intellectual and political renewal.
Campaign against Covid: The WHO global vaccination target will not be met until 2030. To reach 70% in the summer of 2022, the current rate of vaccination should be multiplied by nine. Tools: excel, rstudio, datawrapper. Conducted with Carles Villalonga (writing and analyzing) and me (analyzing and data visualizations).
2021 closes with twice as many deaths from Covid than in 2020. At least 3.5 million people have died from covid throughout 2021. It is the balance left by this second year of the pandemic and doubles the figure for 2020, which was around 1.8 million deaths. Tools: r, svelte, javascript, datawrapper
This is how urban areas have grown: check what year your building is // Barcelona has the oldest housing stock in Spain. Tools: r, mapbox, javascript, illustrator

Project links: