2021 Shortlist

Panel y base de datos COVID-19 en Bolivia

Country/area: Bolivia

Organisation: Revista Muy Waso

Organisation size: Small

Bolivia is the country with the worst public information system concerning the pandemic in Latin America. The right to information on a collective issue has been suppressed and access to reliable and transparent data is restricted. To fight this violation of an essential human right in this crisis, during 2020 we were the only magazine with the most complete data and graphic repository in Bolivia and we produce notes and research (about it) that the traditional media ignore.  

We are one of the fastest growing and best rated native digital media in Bolivia. We are a team of younger, independent and self-managed journalists. We launched as an entertainment, arts and culture magazine in July 2018.Since 2019 we expanded our coverage areas, covering health, society and politics. We currently specialize in narrative journalism, data journalism and investigative journalism. En 2020 nuestro trabajo periodístico fue beneficiario de fondos del Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative e Internews. 

In addition to our work as a media outlet, we carry out social projects in different areas. Our most successful project took place in a women’s prison in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, which included the publication of our first book authored by 15 women convicts. Recently, within the framework of the health emergency, we delivered more than a ton of food and cleaning supplies, which we collected through the monetary contribution of our users in social networks, for the same penitentiary.

Description of portfolio:

In 2020, during the health emergency caused by COVID-19, the Bolivian government did not provide transparent epidemiological information and did not give the public access to databases on the number of sick people, their sex, their ages or the number of tests, among other relevant information.

This lack of information forced us to manually compile the information we obtained through photographs, PDF documents, epidemiological reports in images (JPG) or video reports. Thanks to this work we were able to put together the most complete database and graphs of the entire Bolivian media ecosystem. Our panel of graphs and data provided detailed and disaggregated information about location, age, sex, hospital capacity, number of deaths and tests.

With this data we followed up, for six months, the information on COVID-19 in Bolivia and verified the official news and discourses that provided incorrect or distorted information.

Due to the economic crisis that affected our newsroom, we could not continue with this work after September 2020, but our work served as inspiration for civil society organizations, data experts and civilians to get involved in the control and monitoring of the epidemiological information provided by the Bolivian authorities.

With that perspective, thanks to our strategic alliances, we opened space for an open data event about the State’s purchases during the health emergency called DatActivate.

We are currently working on an episode for our podcast that shows the efforts of citizens and independent journalists to make the epidemiological information on COVID-19 in Bolivia transparent.

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