Bangladesh is a LDC, now in a transitional period to become a developing country. It is one of the data-starved countries in the world. Probably, I am one reporter in the country who has been practicing the data journalism for long but not recognised so far.
However, this was not a planned news event for which I prepared months/weeks in advance to serve our readers with quick analysis and rich visualisations after an expected major data dump (e.g. elections, Olympics, cricket cup. Although there are many such fire instances in the past but fire incident is completely unexpected event.
How do we count 36 hours after a breaking news event happened? Which event is the breaking news?
The fire began at the FR Tower at Banani in Dhaka at 1.00 pm on March 28, 2019. My report was published at 12:00 mid night on 30. This means the report was published within the 36 hours deadline.
How we did it?
At the moment in which the fire and rescue operation were going on in full swing until mid night of March 28, I started preparing data from very soon of the fire.
There was no easy access data to establish that Bangladesh is topped in terms of death in fire accidents In the world. I studied Wikipedia and got the information. I tallied all the major structural fire incidents.
I check the data and inserted in the Excel and began pertaining the visualisation by using arc mapping software. I did it by 4am on March 29.
Why consider: Bangladesh is not a reputed country for data journalism but it has huge population. The print media is facing many challenges as the number of readers’ has been falling for lack of quality journalism. If it is selected for award, there will be awareness on how data journalism help ensure quality reporting. It will help grow the journalism practice fast in the country where around 2000 reporters in the city of Dhaka.