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How do you make an impact with crowdsourced data?
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Step 1 in addressing the epidemic of deadly force by police? Get the facts.


That was the starting point for the team at The Guardian that produced The Counted—one of the five interactive projects profiled in our 2016 Media Impact Festival.

Crowdsourcing has played a pivotal role in this project, which resulted in an unprecedented database and map of Americans killed by police. More than 38,000 participants have submitted thousands of tips on fatal incidents, photographs of people killed, and backstories on cases. More than 700,000 audience members have signed up to receive newsletters and updates.

So far, the team has compiled details on 1,146 deaths in 2015, and 591 in 2016, all searchable by location, gender, age, race/ethnicity, whether or not the subject was armed, and how he or she died.   



The Counted has filled in a serious gap in national crime statistics—prompting the Justice Department to launch a new program that draws on the project's data and mirrors its methods. Along the way, the project commanded attention from the head of the FBI, the attorney general, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and many local police districts.

The Counted offers a compelling model for other journalists and documentarians seeking to collaborate with audiences to conduct distributed investigations. Learn more by reading the project's case study.

Crowdsourcing is just one of the many ways that media makers are reinventing their relationships with audience members in order to engage them more deeply in social issues. Discover more about innovative interactive impact strategies in these other case studies from this year's festival:
  • Across the LineThis immersive virtual reality experience puts the audience on the scene as anti-abortion extremists try to intimidate patients who seek sexual and reproductive health care.
     
  • Do Not Track:  This inventive web documentary addressed a different issue related to web privacy every two weeks, allowing users to see how their own data is being tracked in real-time.
     
  • Hollow: This interactive documentary and community participatory project examines the future of rural America through the eyes and voices of those living in McDowell County, West Virginia.
     
  • Question BridgeThis groundbreaking transmedia art project facilitates a healing dialogue between a critical mass of black men from diverse backgrounds.
Join us this Thursday, July 21, from noon-1 p.m. EST
Next up in our Documenting Impact series is an online chat with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer about his new film The Look of Silence, which bears witness to the collapse of 50 years of silence after the Indonesian genocide that left at least 500,000 people dead. Register here: https://ovee.itvs.org/screenings/xow9v

No lounging on the beach for us...

This month we've been hard at work—not only refreshing the look and feel of this newsletter, but beefing up our impact resources. Don't miss:
  • Our AIM research section, where you'll discover why word of mouth still beats out social sharing.
  • Our AIM tools section, where you can check out the new AndACTION project, designed to connect nonprofits with relevant pop culture storylines in the movies and on TV. Vince Stehle, our executive director, spoke with the Chronicle of Philanthropy on the launch of AndACTION and how nonprofits can use information on upcoming shows to "catch the updraft of popular culture." Read more in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
  • Our AIM articles section, where New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayde reflects on why the paper of record plans to spend more time listening to its readers.
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