Country/area: Brazil

Organisation: Pindograma, Folha de São Paulo, revista piauí, Agência Mural, O Tempo

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

Pindograma is a new data-journalism organization, created in the first semester of 2020 and now counting with 6 months since its website launch. The project was created by 4 Brazilian students that wanted to bring together their interest in the social sciences with Brazilian politics and data science. We were all readers first, that got inspired by the pioneers of Brazilian data journalism, together with academics such as political scientists and political economists, and by good data journalism being done abroad, such as 538. The team now counts with 6 people, 5 university students and a recent journalism graduate, all in their early 20s. 

Pindograma arose from a belief that good journalism can cause positive impact in society. Thus, our initial objectives were to contribute to the Brazilian journalism scene by making 100% of our code avaliable. All our projects can be replicated and ideally scrutinized by any individual or organization. We believe that one of the ways to strengthen the accountability of journalism is through the transparency of open-sourced data. Additionally, the replicability of our projects allowed for collaboration with people in academia and also other journalists. That improved our own work, besides allowing for our tools to be used by other people. A more accessible data environment in Brazil what we strive.

The other main motivation of the project was to provide more quantitative analysis about politics in Brazil. We introduce pieces that analyse phenomena in depth, trying to go beyond the more ‘instant’ news cycle that is usually adopted by data journalism in our country. We think that there is still a large gap to be filled in journalism that crosses different databases to give more light about the framework of the Brazilian government and things that revolve around it. We don’t think it’s enough to only replicate what is in a singular database, so we try to include analysis that considers different databases to provide more global and in-depth reporting.

We think that we should be considered for the Sigma Awards because of our compromise to contribute to the data-journalism scene, which has proved to be successful so far due to our interactions with other organisations and journalists. Pindograma plans to keep doing that, to also start new long-term projects that will be replicable later and could help people outside of organization, in the form of open code or pieces as well. Additionally, we have achieved the production of good content with a very young and unexperienced team and we think the award would allow us to continue improving even more.

Description of portfolio:

The portfolio showcases some of the pieces that were result of long-term projects. We compiled the translations of the pieces in a google document, available in this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cj1zIalKLU1OuKomWuseTWqfm65F8dGZyMCINyUb-cU/edit?usp=sharing.

Pindograma’s Electoral Map: Through extensive work we were able to develop one of the most detailed electoral maps of Brazil. It allows any user to map out how every specific voting station in the entire country voted in all elections for every position since 2008. We collaborated with other Brazilian media outlets such as revista piauí, Folha de S. Paulo, and Agência Mural to publish pieces using our map framework. They will all be linked in the portfolio. We also used the map to do more in-depth analysis such as a piece that used the map’s information and the income of voters to identify patterns and analyse how income gaps shape municipal elections. 

Project Links:
1.Large Brazilian cities vote along class lines

2. Piece analysing how former election results in the city of Vitória could affect the 2020 election

(Both are translated in the google document)


Pindograma’s Polling Institutes Ranking: By systematically gathering all registered polls since 2012, Pindograma developed a ranking of all Polling Institutes that had registered polls from 2012-20. We did a double effort of using the polls to evaluate each institute’s performance but also to create the most extensive poll aggregator for Brazilian elections. Our ranking was used to tell the story of how some institutes with really bad results were actively commiting fraud and ended up also serving as a reference for other publications.

Project Links:

4. The Ranking

5. The poll aggregator

6. Our evaluation of the general performances of polling institutes in the 2020 elections (translated in the google document)


Parties in Numbers: We made a series analysing most Brazilian parties using various data about their composition, electoral performance and other aspects. The objective was to provide an extensive picture of Brazil’s parties using data but also talking about their history and formation process. Brazil has 36 active parties and it is normally hard to find data and information available about smaller parties. 

Project Links:

7 – Brazilian Democratic Movement (Example of the piece format we used, it’s also translated in the document)


Interesting Collaborations: I will be using the other project links to show some interesting collaborations Pindograma did with other publications. The first one was a piece we wrote about the lack of political rights for provisional convicts, which represent about 40% of the incarcerated population, about 300k. The second is an interesting example of how our map got used for regional politics reporting, as one of the major newspapers of the state of Minas Gerais used it to report on the elections in the state capital. Lastly, we have a piece that used our map information to report on the electoral patterns of the largest slums of São Paulo, another example of how our map could be used for regional reporting. It is important to note that this piece was written by the Agência Mural, while we provided them with our maps and contributed with some editing.

Project Links: 

8 – Piece about incarcerated voters

9 – Regional reporting using our map in the state of Minas Gerais

10 – Electoral patterns in the main slums of São Paulo using Pindograma’s map 




Project links: