Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Tariq Malik said that data journalism has played a vital role in societal transformation. Traditional journalistic practices have no more potential to impact society. The journalist community needs to learn modern tools for understanding and interpreting data.
While talking at the closing ceremony of Training Workshop on Data Journalism jointly and organized by Regional Rapport – A regional think tank, Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Center (PASTIC) Quaid-e- Azam University and Technology Times. 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. Its power of data is just numbers are not data, it’s something beyond.
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 said.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, renowned investigative journalist Umar Cheema also 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 Bukhari 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 also shared his lifelong experience with the mid-career journalists.
DG PASTIC Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram Shaikh precisely highlights the PASTIC objectives and its mandate toward scientific information collection and dissemination. He has 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.
Syyed Paras Ali, Editor Technology Times shared hands-on training about the basic data analytical tools. He said that data backbone the field of journalism because the authenticity of the 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 FAFEN spoke on the data orientation and evaluation, Representative from the Bureau of Statistics Pakistan Ms. Rabia Awan shed the light on the process of data gathering, processing and interpretation. Salim Rafik, EX DG NADRA also shed the light on 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 media outlets.