The first training to working with open data for journalists held in Kazakhstan

On August 22-23, 2016, the first training to working with open data and data journalism was conducted in Astana for mass media representatives.

The event was hosted by National Information Technologies JSC and the international organization Internews Network’s Representative Office in Kazakhstan, in the premises of Central Communications Service of MIC of the RK. It was also supported by OSCE Program Office in Astana and the US Agency for International development (USAID).

In his welcoming speech, Zhanat Myrzabekov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of National Information Technologies JSC told about the Open Government initiative whose key component is the open data portal of Kazakhstan, The attendees used the data just from that portal during the hands-on training.

The Head of Internews Network Kazakhstan Yerzhan Suleimenov pointed out that Kazakhstan’s open data portal can get journalists as not only direct users but also testers who would help develop and enhance the project.

Training for mass media was conducted by media and IT experts: Nickolai Pikhota, the Lead Developer for media in Central Asia; Irina Radchenko, Associate Professor of ITMO University; and Olga Kaplina, “Open Asia Online” Project Manager.

The two-day training was attended by representatives from 15 national and regional mass media. At the seminar, the attendees studied the fundamental principles of public access to data, learned about the stages in creating materials in data-journalism style and about the basics of data processing, and they fulfilled a number of practical tasks as well. In the final part of the seminar, the journalists presented their projects based on open data.

As was mentioned at the training, open data provides new capabilities to journalism, and ability to use and analyze information taken from open databases becomes an imperative of our time. 

For reference: Open data portal ( is a key component in Open Government where the government agencies’ data is published in machine-readable format. In processing and analyzing, the portal information may be efficiently used in a variety of fields, including in journalism.