Süddeutsche Zeitung

Entry type: Portfolio

Country/area: Germany

Publishing organisation: Süddeutsche Zeitung

Organisation size: Big

Cover letter:

2022 was a year of complex crises that unfolded in parallel. As data journalists at Süddeutsche Zeitung, we had to provide our readers with an understanding of this complex situation, explain developments, but also provide hope. The data team at Süddeutsche Zeitung published more than 100 articles in 2022, more than ever before. Data analysis and statistics are becoming increasingly important in understanding the crises of our time. In addition to the coronavirus crisis, which we also reported on extensively in 2022, we were also concerned about Russia’s destructive war in Ukraine and the increasingly noticeable climate crisis. We looked at how many people actually live on Earth, proved that children’s clothing fulfills stereotypes, and analyzed why people keep dying in traffic.

Süddeutsche Zeitung is the leading daily quality newspaper in Germany. Founded 1945 and based in Munich, it offers reporting, analysis and opinion for a national audience. Editorial staff is 400+ people, with bureaus in Berlin, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Hamburg and Stuttgart, plus correspondents in major capitals all around the world. Its award-winning Data Team was established in 2018 to focus on data-driven reporting across all topics, with close links to the Investigations team (known for the Panama Papers, among other stories). Although it is a standalone unit of the newsroom, the team always works very closely with specialist editors from the other departments, graphic designers and developers, combining their expertise and skills with their own to achieve the best result for readers. As the team sees it, data journalism is first and foremost journalism – its goal is to tell stories, explain complex issues, expose injustice and corruption. The team is committed to constantly learning, experimenting with new tools, sources and storytelling formats, and providing the best possible experience for Süddeutsche Zeitung readers – online and in print. Exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge and learning from each other are important pillars of the philosophy. Towards their readers, they try to be as transparent as possible – publishing detailed descriptions of their methodology, source code and raw data wherever possible.

All articles published by the data journalism unit of Süddeutsche Zeitung in 2022 are listed here: https://www.sueddeutsche.de/projekte/artikel/kolumne/datenjournalismus-portfolio-2022-e922778/

Description of portfolio:

Destruction of Mariupol: Detailed analysis of destruction caused by war in Ukraine, with a focus on the city of Mariupol. Challenges in writing this article included obtaining accurate information about the destruction in the city. Provides a detailed understanding of the human cost of the war in Ukraine and helps to raise awareness about the ongoing conflict.
Analysis of Zelensky’s speeches: Analyzes the content and impact of the speeches given by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Selenskyj. It provides readers with an in-depth understanding of the President’s stance on various issues and the direction of his policies.
Climate Change in Germany: Interactive Tool: An interactive tool that allows readers to see the effects of climate change in their region. The project required extensive data analysis and programming in R. The tool is accompanied by individual texts and charts for more than 400 regions in Germany. Despite the methodological and technical challenges, the project was well received by readers, as evidenced by high interaction metrics and positive feedback on the ability to personalize the issue of climate change.
Climate Change in Germany’s Future: The article provides a detailed analysis of the impacts of climate change on different regions in Germany, including the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as heavy rain, heatwaves, and droughts. The article highlights the importance of effective climate action in mitigating these impacts.
Gender-specific children’s clothing: This article examines the gender stereotypes present in children’s clothing, using data analysis to show that girls’ clothing often features pink and purple colors and focuses on beauty, while boys’ clothing is often blue and focuses on adventure and strength. The article highlights the impact of these stereotypes on children’s self-perception and development, and challenges the industry to offer more gender-neutral clothing options.
When Russian artillery falls silent: This article uses satellite data to analyze the intensity of Russian artillery attacks in the ongoing war in Ukraine. The data shows that the intensity of attacks had decreased in recent weeks and that Russian forces have even lost ground in the south. The article also raises questions about whether the Russian army is capable of continuing their offensive and what the satellite data can reveal about the situation on the front.
Eight Billion People: The Growth of Humanity: This article looks at how the world’s population has grown to eight billion people and the challenges this presents. The authors analyze data and research to understand the causes and consequences of this growth, including issues such as food security, climate change, and urbanization.
“Climate hell” or “We can do it”: The article discusses the different attitudes and perspectives on climate change and climate policy. The unique approach of this article is that the same data and charts are used to demonstrate how an optimistic and a pessimistic view on the same facts can change the way how we think of international climate policies.
Sound of Crisis: A data analysis about the trend of music becoming more and more sad, but in 2022, it’s more hopeful than expected. The article includes an interactive tool that allows readers to scan the emotions of their favorite songs. The article provides insights on how emotions in music have changed over time and how it reflects the current world’s situation.
Where most accidents in Munich happen: This SZ article analyzes traffic accident data in Munich, identifying hotspots where accidents are more likely to occur. The report aims to inform readers about the most dangerous areas in the city for drivers and pedestrians. Readers can use the interactive map to search for places they know.

Project links: