In late 2012 Chilean journalist Miguel Paz, an ICFJ Knight International Journalism fellow, launched with a group of colleagues a data journalism platform called Poderopedia, which helps reveal the network of relationships between business and government elites in Chile.
Now, the Poderopedia Foundation — of which Paz is president and aims to promote the use of new technologies to foment transparency — is making improvements to its platform in order to implement it in several countries in the region and allow users to feed and continually update the network. This year, the foundation will open its second Latin American chapter in Venezuela and its third one in Colombia.
Paz recently spoke with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, about Poderopedia’s birth and rapid growth.
Knight Center: What is Poderopedia?
Miguel Paz: It’s a collaborative platform used to understand the web of relationships between people, companies and organizations that play an important role in today’s news and influence our daily lives. This platform, as a map of connections, provides data visualizations that, through technology, allow the user to identify who’s who in business and politics.
The platform’s software is Plug & Play, which anyone can use to create profiles, roles, types of connections, visualizations, define if the content is public or private, link it to other web sites, etc.
One of the resources that this collaborative platform allows users to include is the connection system Application Programming Interface (API). The advantage is that this can be applied to the system itself or to any other media platform or company. For example, we are in conversations with an organization from Argentina that wants to apply the API connection system to make a sort of internal network as LinkedIn.
And in Colombia, there is an independent outlet that investigates and analyzes the “para-politics”, the phenomenon that links the old paramilitary world and the world of politics. They have already installed our platform to upload their own directory of parapoliticians to be able to see the connections between them.