The Sigma Awards is an international competition promoted by Google. It rewards the best journalism productions focused on information database visualization. In this second edition of the award, a jury of experts chose 13 winning projects from 1,054 entries.
The winning work was the “No epicentro” (“At the epicenter”) project. It resulted from a partnership between the professors, Brazilian fact-checker Agência Lupa, and the Google News Initiative. Through it, a data visualization tool was created with the goal of alerting people to the number of COVID-19 deaths in Brazil.
“It is one of the world’s main data journalism awards. To have our professors on its list of awardees reinforces how much our Master’s faculty is in tune with best practices and is a reference point in the market,” says Natália Mazotte, Coordinator of Insper’s Advanced Program in Journalism.
The same work won the Best in Show (Small Teams) category of the 42nd Best of Digital News Design award, promoted by the Society for News Design, and the Best Data Visualization award at the 2020 LATAM Digital Media Awards promoted by the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
On behalf of the trio of winners, Prof. Vinicius Sueiro tells more about the project:
– How did you apply for the award?
After a positive repercussion nationwide, Agência Lupa sought relevant international awards to enter the project. As a result, besides The Sigma Awards, we have participated and won awards in the international Society for News Design (SND), WAN-IFRA, and Malofiej competitions.
– In your view, how important is this recognition for data journalism’s development in Brazil?
It is possible that in international awards, there is a certain tendency to value publications made in English or by already renowned vehicles. However, I believe our project managed to deviate from that bias by addressing a topic that all the international media were looking at – and looking for innovative ways to communicate it. The production of data-driven journalism in Brazil has been growing increasingly stronger. I hope that it will feature increasingly more among projects of international prominence.
– As part of the Master you made up at Insper, do you plan to work with students on concepts similar to those you used in the project?
We aim to teach students to produce in-depth data-driven journalism content, creating digital narratives that mobilize different informational elements using graphs, images, interactivity, and text. The mission is to present efficient narrative techniques and introduce the student to the vocabulary and aesthetic sensibilities needed to produce impactful journalistic material, drawing on content produced by the leading names in information design, data visualization, and digital journalism today.