Harkanwal Singh

Data Editor, New Zealand Herald

Bachelor of Media Arts (Communication), 

Journalism pathway, and the National Diploma in Journalism (Multi-Media)                   

Awards: Canon Media Award in 2015 for Best use of Interactive Graphics

“My role stretches across design, journalism and visual narratives.”
Harkanwal Singh tells stories with numbers. Want to know where every All Black was born? What the election vote percentages were, down to a local polling booth? Which areas of the country are most deprived, or how cycling crash rates compare in different areas? Singh, the NZ Herald’s Data Editor, can calculate and show all of this, in a clear form that helps people make sense of large data sets. 

“I create interactive visualisations,” he says. “Essentially telling stories using figures, but through programming and data visualisation. It also involves analysing raw data. As a practice, I would say it's best described as computer-assisted reporting.”  He has been described as the first dedicated data journalist working in the New Zealand media. 

An interest in writing led Singh to the journalism programmes at Media Arts. He completed the Bachelor of Media Arts degree and the National Diploma in Journalism simultaneously, graduating in 2012. The aspect of study that has proved most useful was the focus on working across disciplines, he says. “My role stretches across design, journalism and visual narratives.” He also enjoyed electives outside journalism such as Critical Thinking, and working with tutors to create the Waikato Independent student newspaper website. 

Singh aims to continue developing his expertise in this emerging field. What’s next on the horizon? “Work. More work. Studying programming and statistics in my own time. And work.” 

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