Belarusians rest less than other nations. Isn’t it time to change it?

Category: Best data-driven reporting (small and large newsrooms)

Country/area: Belarus

Organisation: TUT.BY

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 5 Nov 2019

Credit: Anton Devyatov, Svetlana Baksicheva, Elena Pashinina

Project description:

In Belarus, there are an average of seven and a half public holidays a year for every working person. This is noticeably less than the global average. But do we need more? Note that the text found at link No. 1 is dated February 3, 2020. The article is just a translation into English, users have not seen it. The original text was published in Russian on May 11, 2019. Link No. 2 leads to the original text.

Impact reached:

At the end of the text, we added a feedback form, where we invited users to send their options for holidays. We received 2150 letters and wrote a separate article with the results. It confirmed our belief that the topic does matter and is of great importance for the people. At the beginning of 2020, local authorities added one day off to New Year holidays and, who knows, maybe it was our project that made them take such a decision.

Techniques/technologies used:

MS Excel, Python, Tabula, Adobe Illustrator.

What was the hardest part of this project?

It was challenging for us to single out the days worthy to become a new holiday. After collecting user options, we had to sort them out and highlight all the proposals, since people wrote in an arbitrary manner, and their notes were often accompanied by comments and extensive considerations.

What can others learn from this project?

This project shows how to find a topic that excites a large number of users by studying the popularity of last year’s news. Besides, it demonstrates how to build a sufficiently large user dataset if you ask people to comment on the topic in question.

Project links: