Six journalists, including a former staffer of The Express Tribune won top honours at the inaugural Pakistan Data Journalism Awards 2019 organised by Media Matters for Democracy on Thursday.
Riazul Haq’s multimedia story ‘Mission Europe‘ won the award for Best Use of Data in a News Report (Online).
The story published by the paper’s original content unit News Labs dealt with human trafficking from Punjab to European countries.
It was produced by by Shaheryar Popalzai and carried illustrations by Saadat Ali and Ibrahim Yahya.
Haq used data from the Federal Investigation Agency, Supreme Court of Pakistan, and European border control to show the extent of the human trafficking trade. He used accounts of human smugglers and people deported for illegal immigration to humanise his data-driven report.
Other winners included Swat-based journalist Niaz Ahmad Khan, Alia Chughtai and Asad Hashim of Al Jazeera English, Ramsha Jahangir of Dawn, and former Samaa digital journalist Hisham Sajid.
The awards were distributed at a ceremony in Islamabad.
Sadaf Khan, Director Programs of Media Matters for Democracy and jury member, said the awards contest was an effort to encourage evidence-based investigative reporting in the country.
“We hope to recognise the work of local journalists who are using data and documents to highlight issues of public importance and bring accountability and transparency in governance,” she said. “I am confident that the award-winning stories will also inspire other reporters and editors to use data more effectively in their news coverage.”
The contest received 76 entries from journalists representing different types of media, including print and digital, and various publications from all over Pakistan.
The contest jury, comprised of media strategist Sahar Habib Ghazi, broadcast journalists Amber Rahim Shamsi and Hamid Mir, and Media Matters for Democracy co-founders Asad Baig and Sadaf Khan.