January 26, 2022

Pakistan Data Journalism Awards

Pakistan data journalism awardsThe results of the Pakistan Data Journalism Awards 2019 have been announced. Click here to view the list of winners and the shortlisted entries.

The Pakistan Data Journalism Awards aim to encourage data-driven news reporting and investigative journalism in Pakistan. The awards will celebrate investigations and data-driven stories produced and published by Pakistani journalists and news organisations that showed truth to power, enhanced government accountability, and promoted the public interest.

The awards contest is funded through Media Matters for Democracy’s Media for Transparency initiative, which delivers data-driven training courses and workshops for local journalists and promotes the use of public records for news reporting on government accountability and transparency. Read more about Media for Transparency.

For more details about the awards contest and submissions process, see the tabs below.

Rules & Eligibility


1) The awards contest is open to all local journalists working for print, broadcast, and digital publications. Teams of journalists, news organisations, freelancers, citizen journalists, and contributors to news publications can also submit entries to the contest.

2) The contest is only open to works published or broadcast between 1 January 2018 and 31 January 2019.

3) There are no submission fees.

4) An entry to the contest could be a single news report or a series of news reports.

5) An individual or organisation can submit multiple entries in a single category (except the portfolio category, for which each participating journalist can only submit once).

6) An individual or organisation can submit entries to more than one category.

7) Any instance of plagiarism will lead to immediate disqualification.

8) Submission of unpublished works will not be accepted.

9) For works in languages other than English and Urdu, please provide a translation of the published story or translated transcript of the broadcast report.

10) Some categories are divided by types of media. If you incorrectly submit a piece (for example, a newspaper article) to a category designed for a different type of media (for example, broadcast), we will automatically assign it to the appropriate category.


Deadline for submissions is 15 February 2019 (11:59 PM Pakistan Standard Time).

The winners will be announced at the end of February 2019.


Note: The award administrators have the final authority to determine if an entry is eligible or not. Employees of Media Matters for Democracy are ineligible to enter the contest.




The awards will be given out in the following four categories. The first two categories listed below have one overall prize. The remaining two categories have separate prizes for three different types of media:

Best News Investigation of the Year: This award will be given to an investigative journalism project, investigative story or series of investigative news reports that best used data to highlight a matter of public interest. The entries to this category will be judged on their public importance dimension, the quality of reporting and writing, the use and analysis of data to explore different aspects and problems related to the issue being reported, presentation of data, and the impact of the investigation. While submitting your entry, please describe the investigative project’s idea, its focus, its intended audience, your reporting and data analysis methodology, any technology you used for data analysis or presentation, and the impact of the project.

Best Data Visualization for News: This award will be presented to the best representation of a matter of public importance as a data visualization for news. The visualization can be standalone or accompanying a news story. Clarity and accuracy in communicating the data findings, aesthetic design, complexity of information, and engaging presentation will be the key elements in judging the entries.

Best Use of Data in a News Report: Three awards will be given in this category – one each for print, broadcast, and online news media. This category is for a daily news report or a series of daily news reports that highlight matters of public importance, including civic issues, through use of data-driven journalism principles. Entries will be judged for their use of public records, the analysis and presentation of data, and the impact of the coverage. While submitting your entry, please describe the focus and objective of the news report(s), its intended audience, your data sources, data analysis methodology, any technology used for data presentation, and the impact of the report.

Best Data Journalist Portfolio: This category is for individual data journalists. Three awards will be presented, one each for a journalist working for print, broadcast, and online news media. The jury will look at the body of work of the participating journalists


The deadline for submissions is 15 February 2019, 11:59 PM Pakistan Standard Time.


The Jury


Our jury members are eminent journalists and media experts. Together they have decades of experience in the local news industry and are familiar with the use of data-driven investigative journalism to promote the public interest in Pakistan and around the world.

Amber Rahim Shamsi

Amber Rahim Shamsi is a broadcast and multimedia journalist.

She currently hosts the news talk show Sawaal — Amber Shamsi Kay Saath on Samaa TV. Previously she worked as an anchorperson for the HUM News show Subah Say Agay and the Dawn News current affairs talk show News Wise. She has also worked for BBC World Service as a reporter, presenter, and producer, and has written for Herald and The News on Sunday.



Hamid Mir

Hamid Mir has worked in the Pakistani print and broadcast news media for over 30 years. He started his career at Daily Jang in the late ’80s. Later he worked as the Editor of Urdu newspapers, Daily Pakistan and Daily Ausaf. Barring a brief interruption in 2018, he has hosted Capital Talk, the flagship current affairs talk show of Geo News, since 2002. In 2012, he was awarded Pakistan’s second-highest civil award, the Hilal-e Imtiaz, in recognition of his services in journalism. Free Press Unlimited awarded him the Most Resilient Journalist Award in 2016 for demonstrating “extraordinary courage and perseverance” in bringing news to the public.


Sahar Habib Ghazi

Sahar Habib Ghazi is a journalist and media strategist.

She led the Global Voices digital newsroom from 2012 to 2018. There she supervised news reporting from 167 countries in over 40 languages with a focus on citizen media and marginalised communities. She has previously worked for The New York Times, DawnNews TV, and Geo News. She was a John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford University in 2010-11. In 2009, she produced the documentary series The Disposable Ally on US-Pakistan relations. She is also a board member of Media Matters for Democracy.


Asad Baig

Asad Baig is the Executive Director of Media Matters for Democracy.

He started his media journey in 2004 with Geo News. Later he managed the media programme at Open Society Foundations for four years, which allowed him the opportunity to support nationwide efforts on the safety of journalists, ethical journalism, and professionalism in the news media. He is a founding member of the Pakistan Coalition on Media Safety, Pakistan Coalition for Ethical Journalism, and Alliance for Access. His current focus is on media innovation and alternative economic models for the news industry.


Sadaf Khan

Sadaf Khan is the Director Programs at Media Matters for Democracy.

She has been associated with media and the media development sector in Pakistan since 2002. She has worked as an editor and producer for major print and broadcast outlets in the country. Her work with media development has mainly focussed on policy advocacy, media ethics, journalist safety, and capacity building for development, data, and digital journalism. She has authored many research reports on thematic media content in Pakistan. She did her master’s degree in development communications from the London School of Economics as a Chevening Scholar.


Awards contest manager


Waqas Naeem

Waqas Naeem is the program manager for the Media for Transparency initiative at Media Matters for Democracy. He is also managing the Pakistan Data Journalism Awards 2018-19 contest. He is a former news reporter and journalism instructor. He studied computer-assisted reporting at the Missouri School of Journalism in the US, and has designed and delivered data journalism training courses in Pakistan through the Media for Transparency initiative. He also edits data-driven news reports for the initiative’s website If you have any query about the contest, he can be reached at



Important Dates


Submissions Open: 1 January 2019


Submissions Close: 15 February 2019


Jury Deliberations: 16-26 February 2019


Awards Ceremony (tentative date): 28 February 2019



Submit Your Entry


Please use the form below to submit your entry to the contest. You can also fill the same form here.

Note: In developing the categories, the submissions system, and the guidelines for this contest, we sought inspiration and guidance from the Global Editors Network’s international Data Journalism Awards, and the Online Journalism Awards. We are especially grateful to the Global Editors Network, and would encourage Pakistani journalists to also apply for the 2019 edition of their contest, which is open for submissions until April.