March 18, 2019

Data Story of the Day: Cases of Human Rights Violations and Other Data from the Senate

Dunya’s back page story today might not qualify to be a data story, per se. It is simply reporting on an event – the Senate question hour – and lumps together sets of unrelated facts and statements. But I’ve included it because it demonstrates that parliamentary question hours can provide lots of good story ideas because of the rich information presented on the record during these proceedings.

In this case, for example, the Dunya story shares among other information:

• A region-wise breakdown of number of incidents of human rights violations in the country between 2013 and 2017, as per the Ministry of Human Rights

• The number of bribery cases pursued by the National Accountability Bureau and the funds the bureau recovered (Rs. 36 billion!) from officials accused of corruption during a four-year period

• The average annual land area lost to sea intrusion in Pakistan

Each of these issues could be turned into a separate data-driven investigative story. It’s likely that the assembly or senate beat reporter would not have time to follow-up on these issues or perhaps not be interested in off-beat topics. But the question hour documents are uploaded to the assembly websites and can be mined for useful information by other beat and freelance reporters.

Follow our Data Story of the Day tag to read more local data-driven investigative stories.

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