Islamabad — Ten health reporters from around Pakistan learnt data journalism skills at a training organised by Media Matters for Democracy in the capital.
The training was intended to help the participants to produce data-driven public interest stories on health issues at the national, regional, and local levels.
The journalists included reporters from Dawn, Samaa, Daily Express, the Tribal News Network, as well as freelancers. The training was conducted from 26 to 28 December 2019 under Media Matters for Democracy’s Media for Transparency initiative.
The participants were informed about the data journalism process, data analysis skills, and data visualisation tools among other topics. They also brainstormed story ideas related to their health beat, discussed hypotheses for their stories, and worked in groups to craft reporting plans.
Journalists used publicly available data on polio, basic health units, and malnutrition to understand how to organise, clean, and analyse data using spreadsheets. The participants applied pivot table analysis to find newsworthy answers for their reporting questions. In separate discussion sessions, the journalists inquired about ways to test the reliability and validity of data and were informed about best practices for reporting on health data.
The participants are expected to produce data stories after the workshop with the help of the Media for Transparency staff.