InfoAmazonia: Lessons on Data, Mapping, and Storytelling

Google Hangout
Monday, July 22nd, 2013
1:00 PM Eastern

RSVP & Hangout

About this Event

As thousands of protestors took to Brazil’s streets last month, their demonstrations revealed deep resentment of pervasive government corruption, and the opacity of the political process that perpetuates it. A recent New York Times report highlighted the way students in Rio de Janeiro are teaching each other to access and analyze government data to identify problems with the city’s public transit system.

Internews, through its Earth Journalism Network (EJN), has been working with local partners to take a similar approach by combining data and journalism to address environmental issues in the nine countries of the Amazon basin, as well as in other regions, including the US, and soon Indonesia, the Himalayas and beyond. InfoAmazonia, a project of EJN and its partner O Eco, is pioneering digital tools that collect and visualize new data troves to tell stories through powerful interactive graphics, increasing transparency and empowering communities.

Join James Fahn and Willie Shubert of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and Gustavo Faleiros of O Eco for a google hangout briefing to discuss this powerful platform and its implications for Brazil and beyond.

Kindly RSVP online 

(Watch the video - InfoAmazonia 1.5, Mapping Features on the First Anniversary)

The world’s largest rainforest – the Amazon – is in the midst of a massive ecological and developmental change. Communicating the daily flux of this vital region requires the best available data and networks of communicators to interpret and distribute this information. Built through partnerships between the Brazilian environmental news agency O Eco and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, InfoAmazonia is an interactive mapping platform that hosts richly designed maps about environmental topics in the Amazon. Each map is built using continuously updated data from a wide-range of stakeholders. On top of these maps are geo-located stories which lend narrative to the data and evidence to the narrative.

The telebriefing will also explore Ekuatorial, an interactive mapping platform in its early stages for Indonesia,  focused on providing up-to-date and easy to understand visualizations of marine conservation, natural disaster, deforestation, and fires. This system, an adaptation of the InfoAmazonia project, will house the existing mass of data on the environmental challenges facing Indonesia overlaid with relevant media coverage from across the region. By collaborating with the Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists’ (SIEJ) national network of reporters, this site will be used as a story syndicator which enables journalists to share breaking environmental news between media houses and transmit local perspectives to international audiences.

Please join us to learn from James Fahn, Willie Shubert, and Gustavo Faleiros about how organizations are using data to tell powerful stories.  RSVP online or by replying to this email.

About the presenters:

James FahnJames Fahn is the Global Director of Internews’ Environmental Programs and a Lecturer at UC-Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He also serves as the executive director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. Fahn is a journalist who has primarily focused on environmental and science issues in developing countries. During the 1990s, Fahn was based in Thailand where he was a reporter and editor for The Nation, an English-language daily newspaper based in Bangkok, and hosted a television show. His book, “A Land on Fire” recounts the issues and scandals he uncovered while working on the environmental beat in Southeast Asia. He has also written for the New York Times, The Economist, Newsweek, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Jakarta Post,,, the Huffington Post and the Columbia Journalism Review. Fahn received UNEP’s Global 500 Award for The Nation’s environmental reporting, and was pinned by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for his service to Thailand. He was the co-founder of the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists, the country director for Internews’ Burma program, and has also worked for the Ford Foundation as a program associate in the field of environment and development.

Gustavo Faleiros A two-time Knight International Journalism Fellow, Gustavo Faleiros is an environmental journalist and media trainer who specializes in data-driven journalism. Last year, Faleiros launched InfoAmazonia, a digital map that uses satellite and other publicly available data to monitor the Amazon rainforest. Before his fellowship, Faleiros helped create the Amazon Communications Network, which trained journalists and produced 200 stories about environmental issues in the region. The network sprang from his earlier accomplishments at the Brazilian environmental news site O Eco, where Faleiros worked his way up to executive editor. He introduced the use of satellite images and interactive maps in O Eco reports. Faleiros began his career as a reporter for Valor Econômico, Brazil’s main financial newspaper. He covered inflation, employment, infrastructure, energy, sanitation and transportation. In 2003, the World Bank awarded him a prize for a story on the water supply in rural areas near São Paulo. Faleiros earned a master’s degree in environment, politics and globalization from King’s College London.

Willie Shubert Willie Shubert is the Senior Project Coordinator for Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. As a coordinator of a global network of environmental journalists, Willie helps make tools that enable people to connect with each other, find material support, and amplify their local stories to global audiences. In his previous position at National Geographic Magazine, he coordinated translation for the magazine’s 32 local language partners. He holds a degree in Geography from Humboldt State University with concentrations in cartography, environmental economics, and Chinese Studies. Outside of work, he devotes his time to the development of a free school dedicated to community building through education and to collaborative mapping and audio projects.

Moderated by James Fahn, Global Director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.

Related Stories

  • How sunshine is bringing radio to remote parts of South Sudan

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    (Internews' program assisting community radio in South Sudan is covered in this article from Mashable.)

    In South Sudan, most people don't have a TV. They rely on radio to get information. But limited access to power means entire communities of are left in information darkness for days at a time, especially in remote areas. One man is turning to the sun to change that. 

  • South Sudan’s Mayardit FM Utilizes Solar Power

    Radio World
    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    (A radio station in South Sudan powered with solar with the help of Internews is covered in this article from Radio World.)

    BRISBANE, Australia — In Turalei, South Sudan, more than 150,000 people are able to receive Mayardit 90.7 FM, a radio station that broadcasts a variety of news, music and entertainment. Supported by Internews, the radio station is a welcome service for the community, many of whom have little or no education.

Research & Publications