The Data Boot Camp Northeast which is a part of Pan-Asia Data Boot Camp initiative was held at the Department of Mass Communication, Assam Don Bosco University on July 14-15, 2018. It is the first of its kind of the data boot camp in the Northeast region aimed to promote data-driven research and journalism by bringing together journalists and experts from other fields: data organisations, IT, businesses, and government agencies.

The two-day event was geared towards open data, fact-checking, writing and watchdog reporting and featured discussions on a wide range of topics including data journalism, fake news, tools for online verification, future of open data in Northeast, data in healthcare, political economy of disinformation and citizenship data.

“The main idea behind the boot camps was to build conversation, engagement and collaboration in the Northeast region about open data,” said Syed Nazakat, founder and Editor-In-Chief of DataLEADS. “The boot camp initiative is recognised as a pioneering collaborative initiative in Asia and we are sure this one in Assam will open new windows of collaboration for journalists and other professionals in the region,” added Mr Syed.

The distinguished speakers at the boot camp included co-Founder of ‎Bohniman System, Abhijit Bhuyan, Director General Assam Police, Kuladhar Saikia, Editor of North East Live, Wasbir Hussain and senior journalist and author Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Google News Lab Lead (APAC), Irene Jay Liu, Professor at Columbia Journalism School, Raju Narisetti, Director of Global Investigative Journalism Network (USA) David Kaplan and CEO of Global Editors Network (France) Bertrand Pecquerie joined via video link.

The boot camp was an initiative by DataLEADS, an Indian digital media organisation that runs a series of data journalism initiatives across Asia. The boot camp was supported by Google News Initiative, Global Investigative Journalism Network, Oxfam India, the Apollo Hospital, MediaNama (Delhi), Journalists‘ Forum Assam and Assam Don Bosco University, Guwahati.