Announcing the Sigmas 2024 Shortlist

Announcing the Sigmas 2024 Shortlist
Illustration partially made using generative AI

52 data journalism projects from 22 countries made it to the last round of the competition.

At the start of the year, we received 591 data journalism projects, from 322 organisations, in 78 countries, and 6 regions. They represent the incredible work done by hundreds of journalists throughout 2023. Our jury made of over 20 international experts went through all the data and selected 52 outstanding entries, so we can now reveal to you the Shortlist for the Sigma Awards 2024 competition.

The projects sent to the Sigma Awards help us compile the best data journalism from around the world, so we'd like to thank all participants for taking part. We will be announcing the winners of the Sigma Awards 2024 in March, but for now, congratulations to all the teams, freelancers, nonprofits, and great representatives of the international data community, who made it to the 2024 shortlist.

The reveal was done on 21 February 2024, during a live stream on the Sigmas YouTube Channel, where we gathered 11 international experts from our Jury and Prize Committee to discuss two topical issues : the use of AI in data journalism + data journalism on climate change. You can watch the reveal and the discussion again on YouTube.

Here is the list of entries shortlisted for the Sigma Awards 2024 competition :

Shortlisted single projects

Is data neutral ? How an algorithm decides which French households to audit for welfare fraud

By Le Monde (France)

Is data neutral? How an algorithm decides which French households to audit for welfare fraud
Le Monde dissected the code of the algorithm used to calculate the ‘risk score’ of social benefit recipients – their supposed likelihood of committing fraud, based on characteristics such as age, family situation or income.

Community mapping - tracking the health of our high streets

By DC Thomson (United Kingdom)

Dundee city centre: A ghost town or winning the battle for survival?
How healthy are Dundee’s high streets? Do we have scores of empty units with To Let signs? Are we being swamped with bookies and do vape shops now outnumber cafes?

The Bat Lands

By Reuters (United States of America)

Inside the Suspicion Machine

By Lighthouse Reports (Netherlands)

Inside the Suspicion Machine
Obscure government algorithms are making life-changing decisions about millions of people around the world. Here, for the first time, we reveal how one of these systems works.

STAT Obesity Drug Tracker

By STAT (United States of America)

Here are the dozens of weight loss drugs in development to catch a booming market
Want to know which drugs could soon compete with Wegovy or Mounjaro? The STAT Obesity Drug Tracker is following dozens of candidates.

China: The Superpower of Seafood

By The Outlaw Ocean Project (United States of America)

A Fleet Prone to Captive Labor and Plunder | China: The Superpower of Seafood | The Outlaw Ocean Project

Roots of an Outbreak

By ProPublica (United States of America)

On the Edge
The next deadly pandemic is just a forest clearing away. But we’re not even trying to prevent it.

Alone and Exploited

By The New York Times (United States of America)

Know their names: Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza

By Al Jazeera Digital (Qatar)

Know their names: Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza
A Palestinian child in Gaza is killed in an Israeli attack every 10 minutes.

The Green Wave series: Examining the growing influence of Islamist-conservative politics using electoral data

By Malaysiakini (Malaysia)

State polls: How far can the green wave go? | Kini News Lab | Malaysiakini
Predict the outcome of upcoming state elections by exploring GE15 data.

How Spanish victims of gender-based violence likelihood to be protected changes depending on where the complaint is lodged

By (Spain)

España protege de forma desigual a las víctimas de violencia de género: algunos juzgados rechazan el 70% de las órdenes
“La violencia es igual en cualquier territorio”, asegura Miguel Lorente sobre la enorme disparidad a la hora de conceder las órdenes de protección que muestran los datos, frente a los que las expertas apuntan a posicionamientos de los jueces, la sobrecarga de casos y la falta de medios o concienciación

Looted Forests

By InfoCongo (Cameroon)

Cameroon’s Undeterred Illegal Loggers
In Cameroon’s forest, there has been a troubling increase in illegal logging cases, with legal logging companies found to be the culprits.

The year of the Shahed

By Airwars (United Kingdom)

A year of the Shahed
How Iranian drones became a key tool in Russia’s arsenal

Invisible queues at Social Security: not even a robot can find an appointment

By Civio (Spain)

Las colas invisibles de la Seguridad Social: ni un robot consigue encontrar cita previa
Mapeamos con un robot el acceso a la Seguridad Social buscando cita tres veces al día durante dos semanas: en 43 de las 414 oficinas abiertas no había ninguna para gestionar pensiones, la cifra sube a 63 de 394 para IMV. Y, cuando sí la hay, la mitad de veces es para, como mínimo, dos semanas más tarde.

El trabajo en riesgo ante un calor que no es normal (Work At Risk in the Face of Unseasonable Heat)

By El Surtidor (Paraguay)

El trabajo en riesgo ante un calor que no es normal | El Surtidor
Un experimento con repartidores en el Gran Asunción, una de las zonas más calientes de América Latina, revela problemas de salud y seguridad por el aumento de temperaturas agravado por la crisis climática.

Despite lawsuit, Casino Group still sells beef from an Amazonian Indigenous land


Despite lawsuit, Casino Group still sells beef from an Amazonian Indigenous land
A new investigation shows that farms located in the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Territory in the Brazilian Amazon supplied two JBS meatpacking plants that sell beef to brands of the French supermarket giant.

NarcoFiles: The New Criminal Order

By Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) (Netherlands) Media Partners: Agencia Ocote (Guatemala), Aristegui Noticias (Mexico), Armando.Info (Venezuela), Berlingske (Denmark), BIRD (Bulgaria), Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación Periodística (CLIP), Cerosetenta / 070 (Colombia), CNN en Español (United States), Con Criterio (Guatemala), ContracorrienteHN (Honduras), Cuestión Pública (Colombia), De Tijd (Bélgica), Der Standard (Austria), Die Dunkelkammer (Austria), El Universal (México), Expresso (Portugal), (Poland), Het Parool (Nederlands), Infolibre (España), InSight Crime (Latin America), (Czech Republic), IrpiMedia (Italy), Knack (Belgium), La Prensa (Panamá), Mexicanos contra la Corrupción (México), Miami Herald (US), Mongabay Latam (Latin America), Narcodiario (España), No Ficción (Guatemala), Ojoconmipisto (Guatemala), OjoPúblico (Perú), Paper Trail Media (Germany), piauí (Brazil), Plan V (Ecuador), Plaza Pública (Guatemala), Profil (Austria), Quinto Elemento Lab (Mexico), Siena (Lithuania), SVT (Sweden), Univision (United States), UOL (Brazil), Verdad Abierta (Colombia), Vorágine (Colombia) and ZDF (Germany).

NarcoFiles: The New Criminal Order - OCCRP
Sparked by a leak of emails from the Colombian prosecutor’s office, NarcoFiles is the largest investigative project on organized crime to originate in Latin America.

Ferrogrão railway line will affect at least six indigenous lands, 17 conservation units and three isolated tribes

By InfoAmazonia, O Joio e O Trigo (Brazil)

Ferrogrão afetará pelo menos 6 terras indígenas, 17 unidades de conservação e 3 povos isolados
Levantamento exclusivo expõe impacto muito maior que o estimado por empresas do agro. Ministério dos Povos Indígenas demonstra preocupação e cobra consulta, mas ministro dos Transportes de Lula externa otimismo com obra impulsionada por Bolsonaro.

Finding Nigeria’s Forgotten Mass Graves Through Satellite Data

By HumAngle, Newslines Magazine (Nigeria)

Finding Nigeria’s Forgotten Mass Graves Through Satellite Data
What can we learn about gross human rights violations in the fight against terrorists using open-source intelligence?

Ghost Tags: Inside New York City’s Black Market for Temporary License Plates

By Streetsblog NYC, The New Jersey Monitor, Motherboard (United States of America)

GHOST TAGS: Inside the Black Market for Temporary License Plates
A three-part Streetsblog investigation into the fraudulent paper tags that drivers use to skirt accountability on the road.

Unprecedented Access: Revealing and Scanning Corporate Card Expenditures of Jair Bolsonaro and Other Former Brazilian Presidents

By Fiquem Sabendo (Brazil)

Exclusivo: Acessamos as notas fiscais do cartão corporativo da Presidência - Don’t LAI to Me #93
Veja ainda: propriedades rurais sobrepostas a terras indígenas e +

L.A. Homelessness: How LA’s Scoring System for Subsidized Housing Gives Black and Latino People Experiencing Homelessness Lower Priority Scores

By The Markup (United States of America)

L.A.’s Scoring System for Subsidized Housing Gives Black and Latino People Experiencing Homelessness Lower Priority Scores – The Markup
An investigation by The Markup found racial disparities in L.A.’s intake system for unhoused people

The Memorial of Calais

By Wedodata, Les Jours (France)

Voir Calais et mourir, 367 fois
Depuis 1999, la frontière franco-britannique tue et tue encore. « Les Jours » remontent le fil d’un carnage silencieux et éminemment politique.

Any Way the Wind Blows

By Grist (United States of America)

How a Koch-owned chemical plant in Texas gamed the Clean Air Act
Oxbow Calcining spent years running from clean air rules. New evidence suggests it bent the law until it broke.

[Illustration] How the People's Liberation Army invades the first island chain: The military layout of the United States and Japan affected by the conflict in the Taiwan Strait

By 報導者 The Reporter (Taiwan)

【動態圖解】解放軍如何進逼第一島鏈:台海衝突下牽動的美日軍事布局 - 報導者 The Reporter

Rubber, Race, and Colonial Exploitation

By Kontinentalist (Singapore)

The stolen treasures. The 110,000 artifacts from Ukraine found in two Russian museums.

By (Ukraine)

The stolen treasures
The 110,000 artifacts from Ukraine found in two Russian museums

Why the haze has reached Singapore’s shores again

By The Straits Times (Singapore)

Why the haze has reached Singapore’s shores again
With drier weather conditions and an increase in fire hot spots in Sumatra over the past few days, the haze is back again. So, how bad will it get?

Forest Thieves

By Intercept Brasil (Brazil)

Série Ladrões de Floresta | Intercept Brasil
Jornalismo destemido e sem amarras


By Bloomberg (United States of America)

Humans Are Biased. Generative AI Is Even Worse
Text-to-image models amplify stereotypes about race and gender — here’s why that matters

Tracking conflict from space

By The Economist (United Kingdom)

Data from satellites reveal the vast extent of fighting in Ukraine
Scars of the war can be found far beyond the front lines

How diplomats who traffick, exploit domestic workers get away

By Rappler (Philippines)

How diplomats who traffick, exploit domestic workers get away
Data show that diplomatic immunity has protected many abusive diplomats from prosecution. The complicity of their sending countries has also helped them get away with impunity.

Você está na rota da lama? Veja locais que seriam soterrados por rompimento de barragens

By Repórter Brasil (Brazil)

Você está na rota da lama? Veja locais que seriam soterrados por rompimento de barragens
Barragens de mineração deixam 700 áreas vulneráveis em 178 cidades; bairros residenciais, escolas, rios e terras indígenas correm risco de destruição; Repórter Brasil disponibiliza os dados para consulta pública

How China is tearing down Islam

By The Financial Times (United Kingdom)

How China is tearing down Islam
Thousands of mosques have been altered or destroyed as Beijing’s suppression of Islamic culture spreads

Predators in The Classrooms

By El Universal (Mexico)

Depredadores en las aulas
Diariamente, un niño o niña es agredido sexualmente por el personal de la escuela a la que asiste. Mientras que el gobierno mexicano ha fallado en garantizar la seguridad al interior de las aulas, el número de denuncias aumenta

The food industry pays ‘influencer’ dietitians

By The Washington Post and The Examination (United States of America)

Ground control

By Tagesspiegel (Germany), Mediapart (France), Apache (Belgium), / Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland), Telex (Hungary), Deník Referendum (Czechia)

Ground Control – Investigating Land ownership in European capitals

Faça o seu ranking

By Público (Portugal)

Faça o seu ranking | Ranking das Escolas 2022 | PÚBLICO
Notas, actividades extra-curriculares ou proximidade de casa. Escolha as variáveis e crie o seu próprio ranking das escolas.

Selling the Green Dream

By Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Australia)

‘I feel like we’ve all been lied to’: Fund members shocked to find green retirement savings invested in fossil fuels
An ABC investigation into the financial disclosures of sustainable or ethical-labelled super options finds extensive investment in shares of companies in the fossil fuel, gambling, alcohol and weapons manufacturing industries.

The Banned Books Project

By The Marshall Project (United States of America)

Banned books
Articles about “Banned books” by The Marshall Project

The Odin Project

By Cuestión Pública (Colombia)

The Odin Project I Cuestión Pública (Colombia) AIJC 2023 - Splice Beta
Cuestión Pública’s presentation Splice Beta 2023.

Body Count: Extrajudicial Killings in Bangladesh

By Netra News (Bangladesh)

BODY COUNT: Extrajudicial Executions in Bangladesh
An in-depth data analysis of alleged extrajudicial killings and acts of torture by Bangladesh’s security forces under the Sheikh Hasina regime.

Missing in Chicago

By Invisible Institute, City Bureau (United States of America)

What Happens When People Go Missing in Chicago?
[City Bureau & Invisible Institute] Chicago Police sometimes delay cases or mistreat family members, and police procedures are making the problem harder to solve.

Con Copia Oculta

By Data Cívica, Intersecta (Mexico)

La bitácora de la guerra: la base de datos oculta | Con Copia Oculta: La guerra que cuenta la SEDENA
Las autoridades reportan masacres como enfrentamientos, asesinatos como cuerpos encontrados, y omiten su verdadero papel.

The Missiles on Our Land

By Princeton Program on Science and Global Security, Columbia School of Journalism, Nuclear Princeton, Scientific American (United States of America)

The Missiles on our Land - Princeton University
An investigation by the Princeton Program on Science & Global Security, Nuclear Princeton, and Columbia University’s School of Journalism, in partnership with Scientific American.

The Bruno and Dom Project: More than 800 million trees felled to meet Amazon beef demand

By The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, The Guardian, Le Monde (United Kingdom)

Over 800 million trees felled to feed appetite for Brazilian beef
As part of the Forbidden Stories Bruno and Dom project, TBIJ pulled together data showing the systematic deforestation linked to cattle ranches

Shortlisted Portfolios

BBC Shared Data Unit (United Kingdom)

Hundreds of UK sex offenders went missing, figures show
Campaigners say it is a scandal people who commit sexual offences can lawfully change their names.
Renting: Six out of 10 renters live in energy-inefficient homes
Renters in Blackpool tell the BBC they’re struggling while living in flats which have poor energy efficiency ratings.
Carer shortage: Woman stuck in hospital for 11 months
The 96-year-old was one of thousands on waiting lists for carers and says she felt “imprisoned”.
NHS: Woman waited nine months for hospital discharge
Thousands of patients remain in hospital each day despite being well enough to leave, data shows.

Pulitzer Center (United States of America)

Amazon Underworld
Crime and corruption in the shadows of the world’s largest rainforest
Oro (de sangre) por alimentos
Un caso de contrabando de oro que se instruye en un tribunal regional de Brasil ha producido evidencias no solo sobre las redes de tráfico entre la Guayana venezolana y ese país, sino también de un enrevesado modus operandi que en la peor época de la crisis humanitaria intercambió el mineral dorado por comida y medicinas. Mientras una parte del oro terminaba, comprobadamente, en India, los traficantes de entonces pasaron a gozar hoy de concesiones del gobierno de Nicolás Maduro.
How Venezuelan Gold is Trafficked Through Brazil’s Borderlands to the US
Two alleged smuggling schemes run through the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima give a glimpse into the murky world of Venezuela’s illegal gold trade. The landscape of Roraima, on the border with Venezuela in northern Brazil. (Photo: María de los Ángeles Ramírez)
Narcomining – Deep Investigation – Narcogarimpos

Narasi (Indonesia)

Menguak Propaganda Asing untuk Penonton YouTube di Indonesia | Buka Mata
*Subtitle English available, please turn on.*Di era digital, propaganda mengambil wajah baru melalui media sosial dan platform digital, menjadi medan pertemp…
Para Maling Ikan yang Kembali Masuk di Periode Kedua Jokowi | Buka Mata
Kota General Santos alias Gensan adalah salah satu ikon penting sentra perikanan di Asia-Pasifik. Kota ini dijuluki Ibukota Tuna di Filipina. Hampir 80 perse…
Terbongkar! Perusahaan Indonesia dan Ilusi Hijau yang Menipu Eropa | Buka Mata
**Subtitle English available, please turn on.**Di era kesadaran lingkungan, fenomena “Greenwashing” menjadi umum, di mana perusahaan mengklaim sebagai ’ramah…

RTVE (Spain)

Mapa de incendios forestales en España en 2023
Esta noticia se actualizó por última vez el 20 de febrero de 2024 con las cifras provisionales publicadas por el Miteco hasta el 31 de diciembre de 2023.
Embalses: la reserva de agua para el consumo sube hasta el 40,5% gracias a las últimas lluvias
¿Cuántas olas de calor has vivido desde tu nacimiento?
En España se han vivido un total de 116 olas de calor desde que hay registros y hasta el verano de 2023. Un fenómeno cada vez más frecuente, más extenso y más temprano sobre el que es fundamental tomar medidas para mitigar sus efectos extremos y adaptarse a ellos en el actual escenario de calentamiento global. “El número de días anual bajo ola de calor se ha incrementado de forma estadísticamente significativa desde 1975, a razón de unos tres días por década”, explica Aemet, que añade que, en los veranos actuales, nos enfrentamos a “entre diez y doce días más de calor extremo que en los años 80″. También ha crecido de forma llamativa la superficie afectada: las olas de calor “van ganando en extensión a razón de 2,7 provincias por década”. Para declarar una ola de calor, se tienen en cuenta las temperaturas normales en un territorio, de modo que una máxima de 38 °C puede no incluirse como ola de calor en Sevilla y sí hacerlo en Guadalajara. Por medio de la siguiente aplicación, es posible descubrir cuántas olas de calor ha vivido una persona en España introduciendo una fecha y una provincia de referencia.
Medio millón de piscinas en la España más afectada por la sequía: “Esta proliferación no es coherente”
En España hay 1,3 millones de piscinas y cuatro de cada diez están en una zona afectada por la sequía. Consulta los municipios con más piscinas por habitante.

MuckRock (United States of America)

Atomic Fallout: Records reveal the federal government downplayed, ignored health risks
“Atomic Fallout” is an ongoing collaboration between The Missouri Independent, MuckRock and The Associated Press involving thousands of pages of previously-unreleased government records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. They show radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project was known to pose a threat to people living in North St. Louis County as early as 1949. But federal officials repeatedly wrote off potential health risks off as “slight,” “minimal” or “low-level.”
Smoke, Screened: The Clean Air Act’s Dirty Secret
“Smoke, Screened” is an investigative series by The California Newsroom, MuckRock and the Guardian on the large environmental impact of a little-noticed deregulatory tool found in the Clean Air Act. The provision in the Clean Air Act has allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to strike pollution from clean air tallies in more than 70 counties, enabling local regulators to claim the air was cleaner than it really was for more than 21 million Americans. The loophole allows regulators to forgive pollution, and avoid costly cleanup work, caused by “natural” or “uncontrollable” events, including wildfires.
‘The Air We Breathe:’ How industry is polluting Cicero’s air
“The Air We Breathe” is a yearlong investigative project by two nonprofit newsrooms, the Cicero Independiente and MuckRock, who have been monitoring air pollution in Cicero. What we found: Cicero’s air quality is much worse than surrounding Cook County neighborhoods, and it’s worse than what the Environmental Protection Agency and pilot programs run by the city and Microsoft have routinely reported.
Disappearing Day Care: Child Care Crisis in the U.S.
“Disappearing Day Care” is our ongoing series on the U.S. child care industry. We published our first part of this series in Michigan in 2022, with the Detroit Free-Press and Chalkbeat Detroit. In 2023, we are focusing on Missouri, with The Missouri Independent.

ZEIT ONLINE Team Data and Visualization (Germany)

Unsere Daten und Visualisierungen
Mit diesen Datenanalysen, Grafiken, Dashboards, interaktiven Tools und Illustrationen informieren wir über aktuelle Themen.
Ein Jahr Krieg in der Ukraine: 365 Tage
Überfall, Widerstand, Gegenoffensive, Stellungskrieg: Seit einem Jahr greift Russland die Ukraine an. Wir zeigen in Karten und Satellitenbildern die wichtigsten Phasen.
Wahlverhalten in Städten : Mein Viertel, eine Blase
Deutschlands Städte sind politisch geteilt. Erstmals zeigen exklusive Daten das Wahlverhalten in mehr als 260 Städten. Es gibt überraschend klare Muster.
Hitzewelle: So viel heißer wäre die aktuelle Hitze in Zukunft
Der bislang heißeste Tag des Jahres war im Juli. Eine Simulation zeigt, wie viel kühler er ohne die Klimakrise gewesen wäre – und wie extrem er in Zukunft werden könnte.

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