The European Investigative Journalism and Dataharvest Conference organised by Journalismfund.eu, is the most relevant networking event for investigative and data journalists in Europe. Dataharvest EIJC17 will take place on Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday morning 21 May 2017, with a pre-conference Hack Day on Thursday 18 May.
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Sunday, May 21 • 09:30 - 10:30
Tracking unofficial lobbying in public data. The case of Poland

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The editorial team of MamPrawoWiedziec.pl for the last 5 years has been publishing articles on Polish parliamentarians and their activities. Currently we are the most reliable source on the Polish parliamentary data. Our research and analyses have led us to discover a new relevant topic which we can investigate in the public data. We called it “grey” or “shadow lobbying”. Although in Poland there is an act regulating the issue of lobbying, only a part of the lobbyists are obliged to register officially. These are professional companies representing other entities. Trade unions, NGOs or other companies do not have to register. However, they play an important role in creating the law - they are the shadow lobbyists. At the moment we have at our disposal many html, csv and pdf files containing information about the lobbyists’ activities, especially taking place in the parliament (committee sessions, opinions, legislation projects). Their shortcoming is high dispersion rendering it difficult to efficiently juxtapose and analyse them. In order to facilitate monitoring the activities of particular lobbyists, both official and shadow, it is necessary to link and map the data. No medium has undertaken such an action, and the data concerning lobbying are rarely used by editorial boards. Journalists take up the issue of lobbying on particular examples, but there is no full, systematic information allowing for tracking all the groups of interest acting in the government and in the parliament. We believe that using this data is essential for tracking and analysing lobbying activities. That is why are developing a methodology and have already prepared two analyses based on some of the available data. During the presentation in Mechelen we would like to present the results of our research and introduce the audience to a project of a new IT tool for readers and journalists which we plan to create. We realise that the problem of untransparent lobbying is a case not only in Poland but in all CEE countries. We hope to share our methodology, experience and ideas with journalists and data activists from other European countries.

avatar for Magdalena Wnuk

Magdalena Wnuk

Senior Analyst, Art 61

Sunday May 21, 2017 09:30 - 10:30 CEST