The Center for Data Journalism Nepal (CDJN), with support from Internews' Earth Journalism Network (EJN), successfully completed a three-day residential workshop titled “Climate Reporting Using Data and GIS Tools” last month, from June 15-17, in Dhulikhel, Nepal.
A group of 16 Nepali journalists attended the workshop, which focused on the use of data visualization techniques (including the creation of charts and maps and the use of open-source intelligence tools such as Google Earth Pro, QGIS and GeoJSON.io) to effectively report on climate-related issues.
“I was excited to witness the active participation of all attendees throughout the comprehensive three-day training program. The journalists, who were previously accustomed to traditional reporting and presentation, displayed remarkable passion and enthusiasm to acquire knowledge on open-source research, investigation, analysis, and visualization tools and techniques,” said Arun Karki, founder of CDJN and one of the key mentors for the workshop.
Participants shared many takeaways from the workshop, highlighting that they learned the importance of conducting background research and utilizing data sources effectively, the potential of using drones for reporting purposes, and the need to report on the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized groups. Many expressed interest in using tools such as Datawrapper and GIS techniques to enhance their storytelling through maps.
“I picked up some tricks to use Google Earth Pro during the workshop. I'll now use the two distinctive satellite images of the locales, for a comparative analysis in the stories I write,” shared Sunita Lohani, a correspondent for NewsGriha.com. “Additionally, I intend to use those methods to locate and scale-measure the damaged areas using satellite images,” she added.
Participants enjoyed the hands-on training sessions, which helped them gain confidence in accessing various data sources. Tanka Dhakal, a freelancer, said, “I enjoyed learning about data techniques at this workshop, which will definitely help to make my future reporting more interesting and engaging to my readers. Using data to showcase changes over time in one frame was the most important piece of knowledge for me.”
Over the three-day workshop, participants heard from prominent experts, including the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) spokesperson Dhruba Bahadur Khadka, Forestry and GESI expert Sujita Dhakal and drone and imaging experts Upendra Oli and Roshan Saud.
EJN’s South Asia coordinator Ramesh Bhushal, and CDJN’s Deepak Adhikari, Rudra Pangeni and Arun Karki also led several sessions.
The participants all expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to enhance their skills and expressed gratitude for the training. They said they look forward to further training opportunities in the future.
“I believe the journalists successfully grasped the fundamental skills required for data visualization and mapping, which can be incorporated into their daily newsroom activities. In the coming days, I hope these skills will help elevate their journalistic work to the next level,” said CDJN’s Karki.
"Intensive training on data journalism is much needed as newsrooms in developing countries don't invest much in journalists’ capacity building,” said EJN’s Bhushal. “This training was key to help build journalists; skills. We are pleased that they were able to learn some good tools and techniques to enrich their stories.”
Banner image: All participants after completing their three-day residential workshop / Credit: CDJN.