Student and young data journalist portfolio: Yaryna Serkez

Student and young data journalist portfolio: Yaryna Serkez

Organisation: (Ukraine)

Publication Date: 04/05/2017



I’m a data journalist from Ukraine currently finishing my Master program at the Missouri School of Journalism. I’m a passionate cartographer and an enthusiastic chart maker, but most of all I enjoy revealing stories behind the numbers. As a developer, I advocate compelling storytelling and strive for in depth data analysis and innovative approaches. As a designer, I value straightforward design and seamless user experience across all platforms. As a reporter, I favor addressing tough issues. The scope of my projects varies from the remote sensing environmental reporting to propaganda analysis. I enjoy working on the ambitious projects which usually results in an engaging story for readers and a unique learning opportunity for me.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

Once being fascinated with the story I’m doing my best to find an optimal solution for investigating and visualizing it. This often results in experimenting with new techniques or even writing customized tools. The latter happened when I was working on my satellite related projects and wrote a small Python library for faster search, downloading and preprocessing of the Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 images ( Here are the most interesting and challenging projects I created in 2016-2017 mostly in cooperation with my colleagues from 1) Three Days Before Spring in the detailed geographical and chronological reconstruction of the last three days of the Euromaidan revolution. After conducting an immense investigation, we mapped locations of the fatal gunshot wounds and major clashes, barricades, occupied administrative buildings, attacks and territories controlled by both parties. I designed and developed the visualization, mapped the lion’s share of the data and also was engaged in data collection and fact-checking. 2) Anatomy of the Carpathians is the most exhaustive storytelling project about the Ukrainian Carpathians. It addresses a vast scope of issues starting from the environmental problems and finishing with the potential of the economic growth. I created 3D model, mapped the data, designed and developed the application . 3) The Troll Network is a network visualization of pro-Russian trolls in the Ukrainian segment of Facebook. I developed and designed visualization and animated illustrations for it. 4) The Carpathian Massacre is the remote sensing project, which investigated the deforestation processed in the Ukrainian Carpathians. This was an individual project. I gathered, analyzed and visualized data myself. 5) With or Without the E.U. is my favorite example of the breaking news reporting, which I created together with James Kanter during my summer internship at the New York Times.

Technologies used for this project:

Data analysis and scraping: Python, Pandas, R. Visualizations and web development: D3.js, Three.js, Sigma.js, JQuery, CSS, HTML, ai2html, Adobe Illustrator. Mapping tools: QGIS, Mapbox GL JS, GDAL, rio scripts.
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