ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the increasing use of data in contemporary news reporting, data journalism has become an important field of journalism in today’s media.

These views were expressed by participants during a day-long training session with journalists on usage of data journalism during elections reporting (I-Election) organised by Individualland Pakistan (IL Pakistan). They said that knowledge and training of data journalism is mandatory for election reporting and it is first and foremost the method to make people more aware of the society around them.

They said that Panama Leaks, which is perhaps the hottest topic of debate in the country these days, is a glaring example of data journalism. “However, there are hundreds of other unknown stories from around the country which can be communicated to the readers through an efficient use of data, facts and different visualization techniques,” they opined.

One of the participants at the workshop while lauding the efforts of Pakistani journalists, commented that “It is an honour for us that two stories from leading media groups in the country got shortlisted among 63 stories for Data Journalism Awards 2016.”

According to an online survey conducted by Data Stories, around 97 per cent of the journalists in Pakistan believe that official data is not easily available in the country. However, an interesting fact that was highlighted by this survey is that 75.6 per cent of those who took part in the survey never used Right to Information law to access official data.

Individualland Pakistan a research based advocacy group, focusing on promoting and strengthening democratic procedure and enhancing the role of citizens in governance recently started working on an initiative ‘Reporting elections through Data journalism’. Through this initiative journalists will be provided training on election reporting by practicing data journalism. –Courtesy The News

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