Entry type: Portfolio
Publishing organisation: The Straits Times
Organisation size: Big
I am a journalist for The Straits Times digital graphics team. Since I joined the team in 2020, I have dedicated my time to understanding large, complicated datasets and presenting them through simple, comprehensible charts, maps and other creative visualisations.
My goal as a journalist is to detangle complex issues and explain them in a way that is accessible to our readers. In 2021, one of my focuses was visualising the urgency of climate action.
Since 2021, one of my areas of focus was visualising the impact of climate change and the urgency of climate action. In 2022, our team continued with the Climate Code Red series with three projects, two of which were led by me.
In July, I published a piece for Earth Overshoot Day. My goal for this piece was to explain the abstract concept of Overshoot Day in the simplest terms possible so that readers don’t feel overwhelmed, while also explaining the urgency that time is running out and we need to act now. This piece was one of our most viewed graphics this year.
Another project that was near and dear to my heart was a deep dive on the fashion supply chain and practices of greenwashing. This was a challenging story because it pushed me creatively to think of visual metaphors and an engaging way to explain a complicated process. After countless virtual meetings with experts and people working on the ground and virtual sketching sessions, we produced an interactive page that featured a stop-motion video and visualisation of the Fashion Transparency Index. This theme of transparency was reflected in the design of the page, including in the data visualisation.
This year, I was also challenged to take on data projects on new topics that I’m not familiar with. I produced pre and post- analyses of the Malaysia elections, which involved a lot of sifting through a lot of election data, both current and historical. It was an unprecedented election and we were able to gain many insights from data in a relatively short time.
Throughout the year, I have led the team in many quick-turnaround breaking news reports, despite working remotely and being based in a different country than most of the team. This included the Russia-Ukraine war, the football tragedy in Indonesia, the crowd crush in Seoul and the landslide in Malaysia.
Going into my third year working as a data and visuals journalist, I continue to acquire new skills in my toolbelt. I am currently taking my Masters in visual tools with the University of Girona. Through the master’s program, I am advancing my skills in programming, statistics and data analysis. This year, I am hoping to further challenge myself creatively to make data more relatable to readers and to tell data stories with empathy.
Description of portfolio:
1. Earth Overshoot Day: We’re living like we have 1.75 Earths: Mankind is consuming way more natural resources than the planet can replenish each year. This data story provides a visual explainer on what overshoot day is, dives into the data behind it, and explores ideas to move the date. Role: Data journalist, infographics designer and project lead.
2. Going beyond the label: Is your eco-friendly shirt really green?: More fashion brands are claiming that their products are sustainable, but not enough of them are transparent about their supply chain. This story dives into how a simple shirt is made – and how each step in the process contributes to the carbon footprint. Role: Data journalist and project lead.
3. How a divided Malaysia gave rise to Perikatan Nasional’s ‘teal tsunami’: Malaysia saw its first ever hung Parliament that ended in its first unity government. This story dives into the factors that led to the divided polls. Role: Data journalist and infographics designer
4. Can you spot a scam? A guide to avoiding the top scams in Singapore: Job scams and phishing scams are on the rise in Singapore, with millions of dollars lost to conmen. This story dives into the modus operandi of common scam types and educates readers on how to spot and avoid them. Role: Data journalist and project lead”