Participants Profiles



Umer Cheema

Investigative Reporter at The News
Umar Cheema is an investigative reporter for The News. He was only journalist from Pakistan in ICIJ team that worked on the biggest-ever data leak in the world history, Panama Papers, and later on, Bahamas Leaks.
His series exposing tax evasion by MPs forced the government to make public tax records of lawmakers and other citizens. Pakistan is the fourth country to have done so, after Sweden, Finland and Norway. Cheema’s reporting on Right to Information law has triggered reforms and expedited the introduction of RTI legislation in Punjab.
He received numerous recognitions, including the Knight International Journalism Award, the International Press Freedom Award, the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Services in Journalism, the Tully Free Speech Award, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, the Certificate of Excellence (Global Shining Light Award) and the RTI Champion Award.
In 2008, he won Daniel Pearl Fellowship, becoming the first Pearl fellow to work at The New York Times. He holds a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. He also attended the London School of Economics where he received a Master of Sciences Degree in Comparative Politics (Conflict Studies). Cheema co-founded the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan in 2012.

Latest posts by Umer Cheema (see all)

Amina Amir

TV Reporter at GEO News TV
Amina Amir is a reporter with GEO News TV whose major beats are economics and commerce, industries, WTO, textile, production and trade. . Her analysis of poverty data revealed that the government of Pakistan had nearly twice the number of people living under the poverty line than originally reported by the government.Her interest in the program is driven by her desire to analyze and simplify the data for the public to produce stories that have an impact on people.

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Raza Dotani

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Tribal Post
Raza Dotani is a Tribal Media Person & Socio-political Activist belongs to FATA. He is the founder of Tribal Post and several other websites dedicating to increase News and Information about and for FATA and Pak Afghan Border.

He has covered gender equality issues from a variety of angles, governance in FATA, human rights and tribal lifestyle.

He is interested in pursuing stories about local government, FATA reforms, rehabilitation of theIDPs and Pak Afghan border stories.

Latest posts by Raza Dotani (see all)

Ghulam Dastageer

Investigative Reporter at The Herald
Ghulam Dastager is an investigative reporter with The Herald who has uncovered military excesses in Swat, the impact of flooding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2010 and land devaluation by the government in order to displace residents on the site of the future tribal province regional headquarters. Since publication, the senate standing committee has rejected the idea of establishing regional headquarters on the proposed site. He is interested in exploring demographic data to evaluate the adequacy of local public service delivery policies.

Latest posts by Ghulam Dastageer (see all)

    Zeeshan Qasim
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    Zeeshan Qasim

    Assistant Professor & Radio Journalist at Dera Ismail Khan University
    Zeeshan Qasim possesses experience in teaching journalism and Mass communication, research work and radio station management. He has been the Gold Medalist in M.A Journalism and Master of Philosophy Degrees.
    Mr. Qasim has been working with Media and journalism education sector since 2006; apart of delivering his specialized lectures on Development Journalism, Opinionated writing and Media Psychology, he manages the FM radio station in Gomal University. He also supervises research proposals, designing surveys and contents analysis related to media phenomena for Mass Communication researchers on regular basis.
    He is a professional Broadcast trainer at GUBA and delivers trainings on Radio and TV contents Production.
    Zeeshan Qasim
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    Raham Shed Yousafzai

    TV Journalist at Channel 24
    Raham Shed Yousafzai is a television journalists who covers the education and health beat. He is committed to drawing public attention the challenges facing the public education and health systems in the region. His television features have drawn attention to the lack of adequate facilities in public schools and the relationship with low graduation rates at rural schools compared to urban schools. He is interested in tracking the impact that increased regional spending on education has had on school facilities and performance.

    Latest posts by Raham Shed Yousafzai (see all)

    Asad Zia

    Journalist at Express Tribune
    Asad Zia is a staff reporter for the Express Tribune, covering the education beat. He has uncovered several cases of corruption in the education system including missing supplies and textbooks, discrepancies and reported and actual enrollment of girls in schools and failure to reconstruct schools after earthquakes. He wants to participate in the program in order to learn how to organize data-driven investigations of educational issue and learn to integrate those findings into effective long-form narratives

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      Mariyam Muhammad Suleman

      Journalist at Balochistan Point
      Mariyum writes opinion articles, feature stories and blog posts related to the issues of the underprivileged. Her stories focus on the allocation of government resources and combine analysis with character driven storytelling about those impacted by the issue, especially around education and gender equality. She hopes the program will give her the skills to find untold stories about issues that are holding back development in her region and how these pieces of the puzzle contribute to the big picture of the region’s future prospects.



      Senior Correspondent at Geo News
      Azaz Syed is Senior Correspondent for Geo News, Pakistan's largest television network. He also contributes to, The News International and author of a book titling “The Secrets of Pakistan’s War on Al Qaeda," published in 2015. He produced a story about the lack of access to education facilities for terrorists in Pakistani prisons that led to reform to provide equal access to these prisoners.He is interested in pursuing stories of known terrorists by tracking national ID numbers and previously canceled IDs.

      Basit Ali Khan

      Basit Ali Khan is the Data Management Officer (DMO) at Center for Investigating Reporting in Pakistan (CIPR) and is responsible for data compilation and analysis for ongoing investigations. Currently he compiling a candidate database for the upcoming elections, a database of tax payments made by politicians as well as corruption and crime statistics. He is interested in learning more advanced data skills to assist the CIPR team in tracking corruption.

      Abdul Salam

      Freelance at
      Abdul Salam worked with the local government to develop an interactive map to explore education outcomes across Pakistan and is currently engaged in teaching ICT skills in FATA.He is a coder with experience in teaching data visualization. While he has collaborated with media, he sees this program as an opportunity to work with journalists to analyze data to better report on different public interest stories.

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      Aasia Niazi

      ICT Professional at Society for Human Rights & Prisoners Aid (SHARP)
      Aasia Niazi is an ICT professional working with Development sector as IT and Knowledge Management expert. She has completed her education from Pakistan as well as holds a Masters degree from Sweden.

      Currently she is working with development sector as Data Manager, on a UNHCR funded project.
      Being a part time blogger and social media manager, she thinks this program will polish her skills to produce better data stories and blog posts.
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      Adnan Amir

      Adnan Aamir is Editor of the Balochistan Voices and is the main force behind the most effective online newspaper in the province. His investigations into government spending on education issues have revealed that Balochistan has been neglected in higher education funding. Other investigations revealed that the region is not receiving its guaranteed quota of government jobs. He is interested in acquiring skills to better track funding and also how to develop narratives and data visualizations that are more likely to prompt a policy response from the government.

      Amna Durani

      Research Coordinator at PCSW
      Amna Durani is research coordinator at the ‎Provincial Commission on the Status of Women Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Her research focuses on understanding why women are marginalized from decision making on a grassroots level and making policy recommendations to increase inclusion. She hopes to use the skills from this program to design and develop and database of gender based violence in KPK and harness online communication channels for data verification and dissemination of results through media and blogging.