Towards Data Driven Journalism

27 Mar 2018
  • Towards Data Driven Journalism

Led by the Arab Data Journalism Network and in partnership with the Arab Development Portal (ADP), the first regional "In-Depth Data Journalism" conference was held at the American University in Cairo on 6-8 March 2018. The conference brought together more than 27 speakers from Sweden, Belgium, Russia, and Costa Rica and 30 journalists from 12 Arab countries. It was also well-attended by journalists and media students from Egypt.


For three days, the conference has offered access to various lectures and hands-on sessions with the aim to stimulate interest in data journalism and explore with young journalists from the Arab region the potential of data journalism as a tool to bring to the surface new stories or present existing stories differently such that a bigger impact is achieved. From the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency in investigative journalism to the modern use of graphics and data analyzing tools in gathering and displaying information, the participants learned and interacted with lecturers to further enhance their data analysis and presentation skills.


"We had the pleasure to establish partnerships with many highly reputable organizations like the Arab Development Portal, Access to knowledge, or A2K, DEDI Media Club, the International Development Research Center, Tahrir lounge and the Global Investigative Journalism Network. We would not be able honestly to hold the conference without their this partnership with believers in data journalism. ,” said Amr the co-founder of the Arab Data Journalism Network.


In her turn, Farah Choucair, the Project Manager, of ADP stated: “Data journalism is a promising field in the Arab region. As a platform that aims to bring data producers and data users closer, we are happy to join forces with data enthusiasts from the Arab region. But it’s important for journalists to be well-prepared to dig through what data has to offer not only in terms of new stories but also new perceptions in looking at emerging stories..” “That said, readers should differentiate between fact-based and well-researched journalism and journalism that uses data to manipulate a coverage. The use of data is no guarantee to good journalism,” added Farah.


“This is a crucial starting point in the field of data journalism in the Arab region specifically. I personally was very glad to see Arab speakers outnumber other nationalities. Data journalism needs to be developed in this region because it’s simply emphasizing the importance of numerical data in this digital era,” stated Besan Ghaleb, a participant journalist.


The ADP will continue to seek partnerships with interested parties to spread awareness and enhance data journalism across the Arab region.


Arab Development Portal (ADP)

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