A collaboration between Al Jazeera English’s 101 East team and Al Jazeera’s AJ Labs has been announced as a winner at the 2022 Sigma Awards winners.
From more than 600 entries from around the world, the interactive project “This is Myanmar’s State of Fear” was selected as one of 12 projects to represent the very best of data journalism.
The exposé drew on the reporting in the 101 East documentaries, “Inside Myanmar’s Crackdown” and “Myanmar: State of Fear” as well as data from the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, supplementing it with an array of rich data-driven digital content.
“This is Myanmar’s State of Fear” is a forensic investigation that puts cases of alleged torture, mysterious deaths, disappearances and detention without charge under the spotlight.
Using rare detainee testimonies, field reporting, satellite technology, the team uncovered a secret facility in a military compound on the outskirts of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. With investigative agency Forensic Architecture, Al Jazeera English located and digitally recreated the centre, which was allegedly used for interrogation and abuse.
Sigma’s managing director, Simon Rogers, said the best data-driven projects of the past year were an invaluable contribution to the field.
"I was incredibly impressed by the quality of work we saw this year. To be coming through a pandemic and seeing data journalism around the world play such a powerful global role is really inspiring. The Sigmas continues to be the global award for data journalism," Rogers said.
101 East reporter Ali Fowle thanked the Sigmas for the award. “We are very proud to receive this recognition for what was an awesome team effort,” she said.
“It is vitally important to shed light on the dire situation in Myanmar. This data-driven project combined investigative reporting and impactful production to document the six months following the military coup on February 1, 2021. It is a lasting digital resource for online audiences.”
101 East’s senior supervising producer Nick Olle added that the award was pleasing in light of Al Jazeera English’s commitment to journalistic collaboration.
“At 101 East we’re keen to deliver more than just video documentary content and it was great to work with AJ Labs and the University of London’s Forensic Architecture team on this creative data-driven project,” he said.
The Sigma Awards celebrate the best data journalism from around the world. It aims to empower, elevate and enlighten the global community of data journalists.