Media urged to embrace data journalism

The media has been encouraged to embrace data journalism to be able to enhance their reporting particularly on issues like budgets and financial reports.
Some of the journalists attending the training interview people in Ruhango District as part of the field study. / Appolonia Uwanziga
Some of the journalists attending the training interview people in Ruhango District as part of the field study. / Appolonia Uwanziga

The media has been encouraged to embrace data journalism to be able to enhance their reporting particularly on issues like budgets and financial reports.

Ruben Muhayiteto, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) data portals management officer, said it is important to equip journalists with skills to help them improve their reporting on statistical data and other business-related issues.

 

He added that many reporters misrepresent information through interpretation of statistical data as they do not understand the area.

 

He also urged companies to embrace data visualisation in their reports, saying that it offers shareholders “a more detailed view of the firm’s performance and eases understanding” of the subject matter among readers.

 

Muhayiteto was speaking during training on statistical data reporting, which was organised by NISR and Media High Council (MHC) and supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to equip business reporters with hands-on data journalism skills. The eight-day training ends tomorrow and attracted reporters from print, broadcast and online media houses.

Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo, the Media High Council executive secretary, observed that journalists particularly those that cover economy and business news must have the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to report effectively and impact-fully.

He urged business journalists to always cross-check information and figures before filing their reports.

Mbungiramihigo added that developing the right narration skills is also essential for journalists to report effectively.

Innocent Habumugisha, a TV reporter and one of the trainees, said the training will help improve his statistical data reporting skills.

“Some journalists do not understand economic terms or how to interpret and analyse data. So, this training will help equip us with necessary knowledge and skills to work with statistical data to ensure the public gets accurate information and in a clear and appealing way,” he said.

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