Entry type: Single project
Publishing organisation: Ammannet.net, Daraj.media
Organisation size: Small
Publication date: 2022-11-30
Language: English, Arabic
Authors: By: Hazm Almazouni, and Zain Jbeili as a fixer in Lebanon.
Hazm Almazouni is an individual investigative data journalist with a nine-year-long career; specializing in human rights and refugee issues.
He started his career as a citizen journalist in 2011 in his home city Hama, Syria, covering government violations against protesters.
Late in 2012, he sought refuge in Jordan, where he started his professional career with the Community Media Network covering Syrian refugees’ issues.
One year later, he ventured into investigative journalism, and in 2019 he became an investigative data journalist.
The story puts under the spotlight three interrelated subjects In Jordan and Lebanon. Waste management, international environmental aid, and the waste management impact on the environment.
The story revealed that Jordan and Lebanon are wasting billions of dollars by burying or openly dumping domestic waste.
The story reveals how the major industrialized countries are still evading their responsibilities toward climate change.
And Finally, I explored the possible practical solutions and their potential environmental benefits.
The project is one month old. The first audience reaction was astonishment about how much domestic waste is worth.
I hope it will help push the upcoming regulations and the government’s plans for waste management.
Since the project is data-driven, I used SQL to analyze ten years of international aid to Jordan. Also, I used spreadsheets to estimate the buried waste’s worth.
For the published story, I used interactive charts to visualize the data and data simplification to explain my findings.
Context about the project:
I would like the jury to know that in Arab countries, we do not have free access to government data. Therefore, as journalists, we have to pursue other sources.
In my case, I leaned to open source data and studies to prove my hypothesis with numbers. And as we all know, it’s pretty hard to argue with numbers.
The other thing is that I’m a refugee in Jordan, and I’m forbidden by the local labor law to work as a journalist or FOIA request government data. Therefore, I report as a freelancer for the last ten years.
However, I managed to accomplish the cross-boarder investigation properly.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
I would like other journalists, especially in our reign, to know that open-source data is a treasure for us, and using it can help us cover endless stories in our community.
Indeed, we do not have a lot of open-source data, but the available amount is pretty handy, and we should use it.