Professors of Media School get a panoramic view of Data Journalism

Faculty Development Programme at Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication

A teacher is a lifelong learner. With a view of understanding a niche topic as Data Journalism and enriching their knowledge for their respective research areas, four professors- Ms. Krishna Pandey, Ms. Deepika Dhawan, Mr. Ritwik Ghosh and Mr. Mohit Kishore Vatsa from DME Media School attended a three-day Faculty Development Programme (FDP) on Data Journalism from 19th- 21st December at Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC), Dwarka.

Prof. Ashok Ogra, Advisor (Mass Communication), Apeejay Group; Prof. Sajal Mukherjee, Director, AIMC and Prof. KG Suresh, Professor Emeritus, AIMC welcomed the participants heartily on the first day of the FDP. The resource persons for the first day were Ms. Tuhina Pandey, Head- Global Corporate Communication & Public Affairs, Tech Mahindra; Mr. KM Prashant, Deputy General Manager, NTPC and Prof. KG Suresh, Professor Emeritus, AIMC.

Ms. Pandey talked about the rise of data journalism. She extended its relevance to data privacy and the concept of ‘consent’. She pressed on the fact that print readership is rising and will continue to rise. She also quoted during her session ‘Comments are free, facts are not.’

Prof. KG Suresh dived into the essential definitions of data journalism and its relevant history. He emphasized that data journalism has always been there, but people started talking about it only since 1989 when a Pulitzer prize for data journalism was presented to an Investigative Reporter Bill Dedman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He talked about the data-driven journalism process in detail and said that data journalism brings transparency to reporting. Mr. KM Prashant shared a presentation about the corporate communication story of National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) and how data plays an immense role in it.

On day two, Mr. Harikishan Sharma, Assistant editor, The Indian Express talked about the definitions of key words drafted in the laws by the government and thus the misdirected data basis it. He also explained how people tend to find loopholes in the laws, adulterating the data. He concluded by saying that the laws need to be changed regularly in order to curb the misleading nature of data.

Mr. Roshan Panjwani, Partner Solutions Manager- News, Facebook India introduced the participants to an elaborate presentation of Creator Studio by Facebook. The web application is used to manage multiple pages at once by video publishers and creators. It is also used to analyse content and build online communities. According to him, it is most useful for the purpose of disseminating news over the social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Dr. Umesh Arya, Professor- Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology was the third guest on day two. He taught important techniques for primary and secondary data research online. His session included Google Power Search, data scraping and data filtering. He talked about the nature of data and explained tricks to filter data for free. Dr. Arya also shared techniques on how to collect primary data from Twitter and other social media platforms.

The third day saw Mr. John Samuel Raja, Co-founder of website ‘How India Lives’. He shared his insights on how political data is analysed and presented in interesting formats. He shared from his expertise on how to get data such as political party funding, profiles of political candidates, election expenditure and past records of candidates from government websites.

Mr. Shyamlal Yadav, Senior Editor, the Indian Express shared his lifelong experiences as an investigative journalist. He described his stories of bringing real changes in the laws and functions of the government through Right to Information (RTI) Act as his only weapon.

He claims to not hide his identity as a journalist while investigating a story that he wants to uncover. He highlighted how a journalist can find new angles and unleash hidden stories only by scraping new data from the field. He suggested the professors in the audience to teach their students to use RTI as much as possible to be a good journalist.

Dr. Rajeev Kumar Panda, Associate Professor and Mr. Naveen Gautam, Assistant Professor from AIMC hosted the certificate distribution ceremony with great enthusiasm. The participants shared their experiences of the FDP.

The programme ended with a concluding speech by Dr. Ashok Ogra wherein he shared that he looks forward to organising more such programmes and for having participants onboard in future.