Google has announced a digital journalism initiative with a aim of training 6000 journalists in Africa on data journalism skills by February 2018.
Google News Lab and the World Bank are going to work with Code For Africa, a data journalism and civic technology initiative, to train journalists by giving them the necessary support to understand the web and utilise the tools they have available to them.
The Code For Africa Digital Journalism Initiative will take place over a period of nine months and it will span 12 African countries: Abuja, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Casablanca, Dakar, Freetown, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, and Yaounde.
According to Pulse Tech, the program will take place in three formats:
In-person training sessions will be held in the cities mentioned above starting from June 15, 2017. In each city, the initiative will conduct training in 3 newsrooms and training will be held twice a month for the duration of the initiative.
A massive open online course (MOOC) will be made freely available online from August, covering a range of web concepts and practices for digital journalists.
The program will also involve monthly study group meetups in collaboration with Hacks/Hackers to provide more focused, in-person instruction. Monthly meetings will take place in Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.
“The web and digital tools present an interesting array of options for journalists, but learning how to use these tools can be a daunting task for many media people. While the global news industry faces a knowledge challenge with regards to digital tools, Africa, by virtue of its non-digital education systems, faces even greater odds in the battle for digital integration in news and storytelling,” said Daniel Sieberg, Head of Training & Development at Google News Lab.
“In Nigeria for instance, only a few of the journalism institutions offer training programs that focus on Web tools, and many top news organisations lose out on stories due to their inability to utilise newer and more engaging digital techniques.”
If you are interested be sure to hit the program website ASAP and get started. Also, you can share your thoughts on this initiative in the comments section below. We love to hear from you.