Made Anthony Iswara (Tirto.ID)

Country/area: Indonesia

Organisation: Tirto.ID (republished on Climate Tracker)

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

I believe that the combination of my comprehensive data collection, engaging interactive visuals and immersive storytelling are the reasons why I should be considered for this award. I have written 700+ data-centered articles and analyses on Indonesia’s The Jakarta Post (newspaper and online) and Tirto.ID (online) that translate qualitative and quantitative data into error-free writings, specializing in socioeconomic topics. I won 5 awards and obtained 1 international fellowship in the last three years, including an award for the data-oriented in-depth data reporting titled “A land without farmers: Indonesia’s agricultural conundrum” in 2020 and Climate Tracker’s COP26 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship. I have 3 years of experience as a journalist altogether, including 2 years at The Jakarta Post and 1 year at Tirto.ID. I primarily get ideas by talking to people, read new studies and explore datasets. A few of my mentors and inspirations include former The Jakarta Post Managing Editor Esther Samboh, Tirto.ID Research Manager and award-winning novelist Farida Susanty, and Interactive Data Journalism Professor at Multimedia Nusantara University (UMN) Utami Diah Kusumawati. My mission is to bridge research (including via data journalism), communication, and development economics to influence policy-making on poverty reduction.

Description of portfolio:

Project Link 1 titled “Can Underprivileged Communities Access Higher Education?” (translated from the Indonesian Title) depicts the problems of inequal access to higher education in Indonesia, especially for the poorest Indonesians. The story combines anecdotes, researchers’ calculations and national data on how socioeconomic conditions may affect one’s chance to attend higher education, complemented with an interactive scatter plots, a donut chart, and a bar-line combination chart. The story shines a light on facts and issues that is often ignored. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has repeatedly emphasized his vision to build reliable human resources through good-quality higher education yet the fact remains that underprivileged communities still struggle to enter higher education. The Google Docs link attached below is the translated document to the original Indonesian article published on Tirto.ID on July 16, 2021.

Project Link 2 titled “Tug-of-war between Indonesia’s Commitments to Reducing Deforestation” is republished on Climate Tracker (as a result of a fellowship) and translated from the Indonesian article published on Tirto.ID. The story exposes a lesser known fact that there are “covert” deforestation behind Indonesia’s drastic decline in deforestation rate that the Indonesia government has boasted in multiple occasions. Finding reliable deforestation data was challenging as the data are scaterred in various reports. However, my experience in delving into public records have eased me to know what data to search for via the search engine and which report I should use as my reference. The data compiled combines secondary research and interviews from my live reporting at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, completed with data visualizations.

Similarly, Project Link 3 titled “The Chaos of Electricity Financing To Get Rid Of Coal Dependence” (republished on Climate Tracker and translated from the Indonesian article on Tirto.ID) aims to explain in the elephant in the room when it comes to financing coal: it’s difficult to phase out coal entirely without the proper funds to support it. As coal financing becomes a larger issue at this year’s COP26 negotiations, this piece explains important information to the public at how achievable are the commitments to phase out coal by 2040 in Indonesia, considering that many Indonesians depend their living on coal while electricity generation heavily depends on coal. The article includes COP26 live reporting, data analysis and visualizations (area chart, a donut chart, a column chart).

Lastly, project link 4 adn 5 is an online portfolio that the judges could refer to for future reference. The portfolio is published on Muck Rack and LinkedIn.

Project links: