#4MAsia: how to kickstart a data-journalism project

#4MAsia: how to kickstart a data-journalism project

June 13, 2017

From 9 to 13 May 2017, the 12 journalists from Southeast Asia whose project had been selected for 4M Asia took part in the first data-journalism training workshop held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The aim of this workshop – which was led by Marianne Bouchart, a data-journalist and founder and director of the organisation HEI-DA, and Penhleak "Pinkie" Chan, an open data advocate and practitioner operating in Cambodia and the ASEAN countries – was to train the participants in the fundamental principles of data journalism, the associated editorial methods and the means for finding, analysing and interpreting data.

After being given a short introduction to data journalism, the participants learnt how to benchmark* their project, where to find data, and how to extract and clean it. They were then able to put their new knowledge directly into practice by applying it to their project. The programme for this five-day workshop also included a practical class on spreadsheets and statistics for journalists, and another on viewing and understanding data.

The 12 journalists also had the opportunity to meet Peter Bale, the former director of the Center for Public Integrity, who was responsible for overseeing the largest data-journalism project in history – the Panama Papers. At the request of the participants, the issue of security in the field of data journalism was also tackled as part of this initiative.

By completing this first workshop, the journalists are now able to present their project and its editorial angle, and produce a list of data sources. In July, they will be taking part in a second workshop on data visualisation and interactive content in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

"It was a fantastic opportunity for my team and I to gain new knowledge and develop new skills in data journalism. I learnt a great deal during this training. Thanks to this support, we can now move on with our project." – Vo Hoang Long, Senior Editor, VietnamPlus.

* A marketing technique for analysing competition