Rooba Arooj, who works for Naibaat and NEO TV in Lahore, has been undoubtedly one of the most promising participants of our training series. In a short span of time since the Lahore training, Rooba has produced several data-driven news articles for her print and broadcast news outlets.
On November 14, her story on the yearly trend of crimes of violence against women reported to the police in Punjab appeared in the Naibaat newspaper with two charts. Rooba’s story was based on statistics provided by the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women, and she used Infogram, the chart-maker tool we had practiced in the Lahore training, to create charts. Urdu newspapers usually do not carry colour graphics, except perhaps for budget-related stories, so it is to Rooba’s credit that she got her editors to run the charts with the story. The story was also carried by NEO TV as a broadcast report.
A week later, Rooba reported on the extent of mental illnesses diagnosed in Punjab and the inadequate medical facilities to provide care for the patients. She used statistics from the Punjab Institute of Mental Health and a private survey to demonstrate that the only mental health hospital in the provincial capital faced severe capacity constraints to help people with mental illnesses. This story included a table with number of out-patient and in-patient cases at the institute in 2016.
Since then, Rooba has also reported and written data-driven news stories on homeless children, harassment of women on public transport, and Punjab Food Authority’s crackdown on substandard food products and restaurants. To view and read all of Rooba’s stories, you can visit her Facebook page. We wish Rooba all the best and hope she can continue with her data-driven storytelling.