I started practicing data journalism as a journalist through Data Journalism Fellowship by
Internews Kyrgyzstan where I was accepted while being a student of a journalism major at the American University of Central Asia. I learned data journalism after taking two semester long data journalism class from the professor Anastasia Valeeva who came to Kyrgyzstan in order to develop this sphere of journalism. Later on she became my data journalism mentor and inspired me to do data projects. I practice data journalism for two years and this amount of time is quite short to fully discover the sphere. I still have left a lot to learn in order to strengthen my skills and techniques and also I often make mistakes in the process of making a data project. However, I am one of the first data journalists in my country, and overall in Central Asian region and I am proud that I will be one of the figures started practicing this genre of journalism in my country. I aim to inspire and train other journalists to practice data journalism in the future. This is, in my opinion, the first reason why I should be considered for this award. Most of my works target social problems such as poverty, child labour and women’s rights, etc. I see data journalism alongside with the solutions journalism since it indicated the problems – when problems are discovered – it is easier to find solutions.
I get my inspiration from different sources – they might be professional data journalists whose work I admire, or sometimes people sharing with their experience can play as a motivation for me to make a project. An article “The Last Person You’d Expect to die in Childbirth” by ProPublica’s Nina Martin about preventable maternal deaths inspired me to write more about women and the problems they are facing. I wrote an article about women who get infected with HIV by their sexual partners and I think with the article I could raise awareness about women and HIV. I understand for myself that raising an awareness in any of my work is my professional priority – if my work is able to change minds even of one person, I will know that I am doing my work not in vain. That is another reason why I should be considered for this award – as a rising young journalist, I want to fight stereotypes and disinformation that harm people themselves and I am sure I can do it with the help of data journalism.
Description of portfolio:
“I was not protected because I completely trusted him”. Why women in Kyrgyzstan started to get infected with HIV more and more” focuses on women who mostly got infected by their sexual partners and did not know their partners HIV status. I used the UNICEF publications on condom usage by women and mostly women were not using it during the sexual intercourse. An article got about 3000 views.
In the article “More than half of the students in the regions do not study well. What does housework have to do with it?”, I wanted to prove the argument that most of the children from the remote areas cannot get into higher educational institutions not because they are not talented, but they were not given a chance because of the work amount that they were responsible for. The challenge for the article was getting the data. Most of the times data is in PDF publications and they need to be transformed into excel format that allows us analyze the data.