Covering Indian elections, deadly Whatsapp rumors, and Coronavirus; 'Create data for people, not journalists'

BBC India Visual Data Journalist Shadab Nazmi shares stories, tips and anecdotes

On May 12th, SHADAB NAZMI, a visual data journalist with the BBC in New Delhi, India, joined Data Journalism DC to talk about the work, challenges, and opportunities of data journalism in India. He also took us behind the scene to demonstrate the tools he built for data journalism, covering election cycles and conducting investigations.

Shadab has won many awards and fellowships for his work, which he courageously conducted despite threats and intimidation attempts to silence him.

Shadab was the editorial lead on a team of five people who created a website covering the 2019 India elections in 11 languages and personalizing the experience for its readers by going beyond the traditional narratives. On election day in May 2019, Shadab's team provided a dashboard of live election results simultaneously in 11 languages using a social media graphic style to deliver the results to readers based on their selected preferences.

Shadab’s team did not stop there. Following the elections, they tracked how many campaign promises the Narendra Modi government kept.

On data-related skills a visual data journalist uses most.

A bit of coding, [data] cleaning, wrangling, and scraping.

On challenges associated with the Right to Information Act (India’s FOIA).

A lot of information is provided in physical form.

On the unique features of data cleaning in India.

When cleaning up data, one must be warned that States in India can have five different spellings.

On the sheer scale of data scrapping news articles for the purpose of an investigation.

For BBC India’s investigation on how many people were been killed because of Whatsapp rumors, Shadab and his team reviewed 14 million news articles.

You can follow Shadab on

SAM MANZER, a data scientist and engineer specializing in interactive educational platforms, will share key principles for maximizing the value of data in your projects. Using several recent articles as examples, Sam will demonstrate how small changes in data analysis and presentation can dramatically increase a story's ability to educate and inspire readers.

Registration is open and required for this program, featuring Sam Manzer, the co-founder of Strategic ML, an interactive online platform that brings leaders up-to-speed on the latest machine learning technologies in a fraction of the time required by traditional approaches.

Data Journalism DC is bringing together data scientists, journalists, innovators, researchers, and anyone with an interest on public issues.

If you want to know more about the data journalism DC community, have a suggestion, question, idea, or want to share your research, tool, or data, please reply to this email or message Flavius at 202-370-1437 (also Whatsapp).