2020 Shortlist

Shared Living: Mohammed gets fewer responses than Anna

Category: Best data-driven reporting (small and large newsrooms)

Country/area: Austria

Organisation: Addendum.org

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 17/07/2019

Credit: Danijel Beljan, Gerald Gartner, Amelie Sztatecsny, Annabell Lutz, Elena Zeh, Jara Majerus, Julia Wendy, Maximilian Miller, Vincent Leb, Yona Lévesque

Project description:

We showed that people with foreign-sounding names get fewer replies than people with Austrian-sounding names in Vienna and Graz, the largest cities in Austria.

Impact reached:

Aside from some public discussion, none.

Techniques/technologies used:

We scraped classified pages for flatshares, used Google Sheets to prevent double-contacting and manually messaged every offer using different names and personas. Hence, we created data that did not exist before.
We also published the reporting using an Instagram-like storytelling format which we developed in-house, since we considered students the target audience for the story.

What was the hardest part of this project?

Collecting the data and ensuring that the data collection method does not influence the results.
Coordinating the (and with the) journalism students who took over large pieces of the reporting and data collecting parts of the project.
Putting faces to the data: not only collecting data, but also finding people who would talk to us about their experiences on the record.

What can others learn from this project?

Collecting your own data allows you to create stories and answer questions that no one else can scoop.
Connecting faces with the data – in this case, also asking people to tell us about their experiences – put the project on a much higher level than it would have been otherwise.

Project links: