Syed Nazakat is an award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur, founder and Editor-In-Chief of DataLEADS, which is a data-driven Indian initiative aimed to create new platforms of data research and storytelling. DataLEADS conducts series of unique data boot camps in different parts of Asia and also runs India’s first data-driven website dedicated to healthcare reporting, called Health Analytics India.
Syed Nazakat leads DataLEADS in New Delhi, as well as overseeing its outreach across Asia with different partners including with Asia News Network (Thailand), a network of 22 leading Asian daily newspapers in 20 Asian countries, with a combined circulation of 14 million and a readership of more than 50 million.
He has worked in senior positions at different media organisations and has over 17 years of experience as broadcast, print and online journalist. He has reported on wars, armed conflicts, human rights issues & security and developmental issues from more than 30 countries and has covered the war in Afghanistan, political turmoil in Nepal, developmental issues in Laos and Cambodia, unrest in Thailand, the conflict in India’s Kashmir region, the civil war in South Sudan, defence industry in Germany and Australia, unrest in Myanmar and political instability in Bangladesh. He was the first Indian journalist to report from an Al-Qaeda rehabilitation camp in Saudi Arabia and in 2013 he was given unprecedented access by the USA to the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to report about prison abuse cases.
He is also editor-in-chief of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit organization he founded to promote the cause of watchdog journalism in India. Nazakat has been the recipient of several national and international journalism awards including India’s prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, Karmaveer Puraskaar national award and Christiane Amanpour Award, British Medical Journal award, Finalist for Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting (Geneva), Kurt Schork International award (London), German Development Media Award (Berlin) and Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents 2014, France. In 2015, he was judge for the Global Shining Light Award, a unique global award which honors investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country.
Syed Nazakat is also President of Society of Asian Journalists (SAJ), an independent organisation of 400+ editors and journalists in 27+ Asian countries. He is member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Washington) and represents Asia Pacific Region at Global Investigative Journalism Network, leading the GIJN’s mandate and media activities across Asia which include facilitating Asian Investigative Journalism Conference, recommending and short-listing panellists, identifying potential sponsors and participants and conducting training sessions.
He holds B.Sc degree from India and Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass communication from the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.