Data Journalism plays a vital role in societal transformation, traditional journalistic practices has no more potential to impact society, journalist community needs to learn modern tools of understanding and interpreting data. This was stated by Tariq Malik, Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), while speaking at a Training Workshop on Data Journalism jointly organized by Technology Times – A science media company, Regional Rapport, and Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Center (PASTIC).
Chairman NADRA said that with the advent of technology, journalistic practices are also transforming. Whatever is being debated in the parliament today, was influenced by the data-driven stories in the past. The power of data is not just numbers, it’s something beyond, which is influencing the stories as well as the readers.
The importance of the data is growing with the increasing reliance on information technology; this is the time, when journalists should also equip themselves with contemporary relevant tools. Understanding the value of data, interpreting and visualization are the sophisticated tools for journalism in the age of IT. “With the data analytical tools, journalists can make deference, not in their practices but also can play role in bring real change,” Malik added.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram Shaikh, Director General PASTIC precisely highlights the PASTIC objectives and its mandate toward scientific information collection and dissemination. He emphasized science journalism for the socio-economic development of the country. PASTIC is committed to providing hands-on training to the concerned sectors. “I hope this training will provide the opportunity for the journalists to enhance their data analytic skills,” he said.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, renowned investigative journalist Umar Cheema underscores the significance of data in future journalism. He said that Panama and Pandora papers were international projects of data journalism, shook the societies. “Value of the story increased with the data analytics,” he said.
Senior Journalist Farhan Bokhari raised the question of the authenticity of the data. “Journalists should be very careful in using data; they must be cynical and cross-check the data, if possible”, he said. He also shared his lifelong experience with the mid-career journalists.
Sayyed Paras Ali, Editor Technology Times imparted the hands-on training about the basic data analytical tools. He said that data is the backbone in the field of journalism because authenticity of story without data is limited. So, it is important for the journalist to understand the importance of data in journalism for presenting the stories.
Dr. Yasser Javed Head of Data Management from Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) delivered lecture on the data orientation and evaluation. Representative from the Bureau of Statistics Pakistan Ms. Rabia Awan shed light on the process of data gathering, processing and interpretation. Salim Rafik, former DG NADRA Technologies also highlighted the significance of data in contemporary and future decision making as well as journalistic practices. The training was attended by the mid-career journalists belonging to various print, electronic and digital media outlets.