FAIRFAX Media has launched a comprehensive datajournalism project across print and digital into New Zealand’s school system.
School Report investigates the first year of national education standards.
Reporters collected and analysed data from more than 1000 primary and intermediate schools. Parents can search and compare the data by location or school through the online portal stuff.co.nz/schoolreport.
Fairfax fought hard to bring the project to life after an Official Information Act request was originally declined by individual schools and the Ministry of Education.
Global research company IPSOS was used to develop the project methodology.
The investigation also features interviews with the education minister and key players.
The publisher is also using its crowd-sourcing platform Stuff Nation to invite teachers to contribute stories telling New Zealand why they teach.
“Despite resistance from many in the education sector, we know parents want access to National Standards data in order to make the best possible decisions for their children. We're very proud to be able to provide this information to our readers in a useful format,” Fairfax Media Group digital editor Sinead Boucher said.
Poland newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza recently spearheaded a similar campaign investigating national education standards.
The campaign sought to “raise the journalists who are writing about education to the level of experts”, news editor Grzegorz Piechota told the PANPA Future Forum in Sydney earlier this month.
In order to undertake such a comprehensive investigative project it is important “that you choose such a topic and you simply flood the zone,” according to Mr Piechota.
“There will not be anyone else who will know more than you about it,” he said.