Casa Pia: Timeline like tools, infographics and archive journalism for context

Today is a big day in Portugal: one of the most complex and disturbing trials is reaching its final stage. The Casa Pia process dragged public figures, politicians, journalists and the public opinion into a turmoil of suspicion over pedophilia, prostitution and backstage maneuvers. Now that the day of the sentencing has come, eight years after the beginning of it all, it’s time to see how the Portuguese media is dealing with the juggernaut of information this case has created.

Público decided to create a sort of slideshow with all the covers that referred to the case. If you click on them, it will lead you to the newspaper’s archive and the corresponding articles. It has a few bugs, but it’s a great way to look at the unfolding of the process.

Público's covers
Público's covers

Although I like the slideshow approach (it’s simple and fast to create), it doesn’t give us a global perspective of the whole process. What I really appreciate is that they resource to their own archives, reviving and adding value to what would be dead in a paper-only journalism. I’m a huge defender of newspapers using their previous work to create a in-depth perspective for a story, providing context.

Another work about the trial is an interactive infographic created by the Porto University’s Infographics Lab. I was lucky to meet the people behind it and follow a bit of the process (they’re really talented people, and probably the fastest working infographic designers I’ve ever met), and they did this, following the guidelines proposed by the Portuguese news agency, Lusa.

Casa Pia: Parlamento Global's interactive infographic
Casa Pia: Parlamento Global's interactive infographic

The problem with this is that it’s not instinctive, you can drag the cube to see the different sides of the story, but if i didn’t know about that, I wouldn’t do it. Anyway, it has a lot of information, and though the navigation can be a bit tricky it is well executed.

There aren’t any other works like this in the rest of the Portuguese media outlets (if i missed any let me know), but anyone could have easily done a simple timeline for this story using one of the tools I recommended before.  Or, just do something like this beautiful and rich ABC timeline/map about the fires in Australia. Neat and effective, and filled with information, it gives a comprehensive overview about an ongoing story.

ABC's Black Saturday
ABC's Black Saturday

What other examples of projects like these can you share with us? Leave your suggestions in the comment box.

UPDATE: My friend Pedro Jerónimo shared another multimedia work about this case, by Radio Rensacença. Thanks

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