Shadab Nazmi

Visual Data Journalist • BBC News/South Asia • Delhi, India
Last edited August 28, 2019

Shadab was the editorial lead on a team of five people who created a website covering the 2019 India elections in 11 languages and personalizing the experience for its readers by going beyond the traditional narratives.

His team started the project in February with a pre-election interactive inflation calculator produced in six languages that allowed readers to choose from a range of products such as food, gasoline, newspapers, etc., and enter the price they paid for them. The calculator showed how much they would have paid for the same product in 2009, 2014 and 2018.

A month later, the team created a six-language dashboard that tracked and fact-checked the more than 350 promises made by the country’s ruling party members when they were elected in 2014. The dashboard allowed users to filter promises by category or progress.

On election day in May 2019, Shadab’s team provided a dashboard of live election results simultaneously in 11 languages using a social media graphic style to deliver the results to readers based on their selected preferences.

Here’s his detailed explanation of the project.

Shadab said: “In December 2018, Netflix released an interactive Black Mirror episode named Bandersnatch where you and I could choose what the protagonist does next. … If you ask me it wasn’t the episode that made everyone crazy, it was the choices — the choice to control what you like to see.

“When I work with data, I try looking within similar perspectives. Can I make it almost personal to every reader?”

The MJ Bear Fellowship Selection Committee said, “Shadab and his team of four created an incredibly sophisticated interactive series of projects in multiple languages leading up to and including the 2019 India election. It’s a model. The live results delivered simultaneously in 11 languages was simply remarkable. The backstory of how they did is a classic lesson in planning.”

Said his recommender Milind Khandekar, Digital Editor, BBC Indian Languages: “I have seen Shadab Nazmi tackle the most difficult tasks with ‘let’s give it a shot’ and then execute it with plan A, B and C.

“I have known Shadab for just over 7 months but really admire (him) when he constantly looks to relate his stories with young audiences…His role in our elections offering was extremely valuable to all the Indian languages team. Apart from editorial sign-off, analysing data, writing stories, coordinating translations with over 11 languages team, he was always up on his toes.”

Prior to his current position at the BBC, South Asia, Shadab was senior sub editor at India Today in Noida and a multimedia writer at Scroll.In, New Delhi,

Shadab is a graduate of the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi,  where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi where he received a Master of Arts in Convergent Journalism.