Pointer, a new datajournalism format by KRO-NCRV

The case
Publishing / Media
Data journalism has an become an invaluable asset to today’s journalism. The Panama Papers and LuxLeaks for example, hugely impact the news and investigative journalism. In this field Dutch broadcaster KRO-NCRV has a solid reputation and much experience. Their data journalists will be using (big) data to report on Dutch topics, both online and on television. They’re new format is called Pointer.
Project description
Large quantities of data can help zoom in on very specific details on virtually any topic. It also allows for overview and distinguishing trends. The KRO-NCRV editorial staff supports their existing formats with datajournalism. Recent accolades by the Global Editors Network placed them among the most successful datajournalists in the world. Dutch broadcast networks NPO2 and KRO-NCRV have put datajournalism centerstage of their news and journalism formats. They also acknowledge the significance of it for innovation. The latest format is called Pointer, which will offer interactive stories based in investigative journalism supported by a television format.

Pointer pursues visual storytelling based on data in an understandable way. They’re aim is to bring stories that anyone can relate to, because they happen to touch the lives of everyone. Pointer editors will publish accross online platforms available to them, using any suitable form, such as text, interactive graphics, shortform video, podcasts etcetera. Pointer will be a benchmark in Europe for dataresearch and datavisualisations. At the same time they will maintain a strong foundation for existing formats like De Monitor, Spraakmakers, Taalstaat and Brandpunt+.

“In 2019 we will be investigating the illegal fishing practises. One third of fish caught worldwide is illegal. The Global Fishing Watch publishes data useful for analysis and investigate journalism. Our project will focus on fish imported through the port of Rotterdam destined to be sold on the European market. “
— KRO-NCRV, Pointer

The website will continuously offer new content, a place of visually appealing and well structured journalism. Every post will be visually augmented in order to make it quickly understandable for the public readers at large. User’s are enticed to get involved: expert opinions are welcomed to be added to the relevant topics. The website is going to be a playground for new means of investigative journalism. The Pointer team will remain agile and will adapt new methods, topics and visualisations based on insights and new developments. en.

Several television broadcasts will be supported by Pointer’s dataresearch. Digital visualisations will dissect their investigations step-by-step. The television format will be hosted by one of the investigators, taking viewers along the routes of the investigation and adding his or her own interpretations to them.
The website will be an essential support mechanism for the TV broadcasts, simultaneously offering backgrounds on methods and data. The ultimate goal is to bring verifiable and transparent investigative journalism to a broad audience, allowing people to get involved.

LimoenGroen was contracted to create the the Pointer website in 2019.
Frontend developers have a crucial role within the the Pointer staff as they are responsible for creating visually stunning graphics and data representations (https://pointer.kro-ncrv.nl/onderzoeken/explosieve-export/special ). We made sure this team of editors and developers are able to place these graphics on the Pointer website by accessing Javascript and Cascading Stylesheets from other KRO-NCRV servers. The newly created Cache Buster module helps to ensure updates on the exeternal data gets reflected on the data graphics in the website.
Community contributions
Pointer uses Revue for mailcampaig management. Revue lacked a Drupal integration, up until now. We created the Drupal module for Revue, which got published open source. https://www.drupal.org/project/revue/