For journalists, recent advances in digital technology present compelling new opportunities to discover, tell and share stories— using Google My Maps to highlight top water wasters in metro areas during the drought. But learning how to use new digital tools for reporting can be intimidating or even daunting. This is particularly true in Africa, where digital integration in news and storytelling often remains a challenge. Few journalism institutions offer training programs in digital tools, and news organizations often lack the capability to use new digital technologies in their reporting.
That’s why we’re supporting a new initiative that will offer journalists across Africa training in skills like mobile reporting, mapping, data visualization, verification, and fact checking. In partnership with the World Bank and Code For Africa, this project aims to train more than 6,000 journalists by February 2018, in 12 major African cities: Abuja, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kampala, Lagos, Nairobi and Yaounde. By providing the instruction and support to better use available digital tools available, we hope to empower journalists across Africa to produce cutting-edge and compelling reporting.
Training will take place in three formats:
- Beginning June 15, we’ll hold in-person training sessions on topics ranging from displaying data with an interactive map to effective reporting with a mobile device. In each city, we’ll conduct trainings in three newsrooms and hold trainings twice a month for the duration of the initiative.
- In August, a massive open online course (MOOC) will be made freely available online, covering a range of web concepts and practices for digital journalists.
- We will also hold monthly study groups in collaboration with Hacks/Hackers(a global meetup organization) to provide more focused, in-person instruction. These monthly meetings will take place in Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.
In 2016, we announced our commitment to train 1 million African youth on digital skills during the year to help them create and find jobs. We hope this new initiative also helps contribute to the continued growth of Africa’s digital economy.