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The media in India are under unprecedented pressure. Their economic model is tottering, as is their credibility in an era of falling attention spans, prejudiced news anchors and fake news. News consumers tend to adopt more extreme positions than ever before and follow media that reflect their bias. A beacon of hope is evident in the growing following for independent media and journalists who ground their stories in numbers, data and facts.
The emerging age of the data journalist requires the ability to find, collate, interpret and present data in a meaningful, attractive form. It also requires the data journalist to build context and create a narrative. Eventually, data represent people and their lives, so it is important that they tell a story. In many ways, data journalism is the rebirth of old-fashioned journalism, which attempted to be free of opinion and based on observation, reportage and research. How is data journalism evolving in the new India? Join our session to find out.
Pramit Bhattacharya is the data editor at Mint. He helped set up Mint’s data journalism section, Plain Facts in 2014. This section was expanded into a full page in 2018, and remains the only daily page dedicated to data journalism in the country. Pramit won the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award 2015 in the ‘commentary and interpretative journalism’ category for his economics column, Economics Express. He was trained in the study of economics and contemporary India at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR), Mumbai, and at the King’s India Institute, King’s College London.
Rukmini is a Chennai-based data journalist. She is the former Data Editor of The Hindu and HuffPost India. She has an M.Sc from the School of Oriental and African Studies (UK) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Social Communications Media from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.
John Samuel Raja
John Samuel Raja is co-founder of How India Lives, a search engine for public data. Prior to this, he worked as a journalist for 11 years, writing on corporate and economy subjects for the ET, Outlook Business, Business Standard and Mint. He can be reached at email@example.com
A journalist for 30 years, Samar Halarnkar is the editor of http://www.article-14.com, a website focussed on the operation of the rule of law in India. His last job was editor of IndiaSpend.org and Factchecker.in, nonprofits focused on data-driven, public-interest journalism. He conceptualized databases and guided related reporting on hate crime, air pollution and other issues. Before that he was managing editor of Hindustan Times and has held other managerial positions at the Indian Express and India Today. He has been a columnist for many years, writing for Scroll, Mint, Hindustan Times, The Globe and Mail (Canada), and the New York Times. Halarnkar has also been a visiting lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley and a fellow at the Nieman Foundation, Harvard. He has won national awards on investigative and technology reporting.