New initiative to break down data journalism divides in Africa


When we think of digital divides, we think of their impacts on education, health, and other social factors. But what about their impact on media houses and journalists?

For journalists working in Africa, these challenges are all too real.
"Recent advances in digital technology present compelling new opportunities. But learning how to use new digital tools for reporting can be daunting. This is particularly true in Africa, where digital integration in news and storytelling often remains a challenge," explained Daniel Sieberg, Google News Lab’s head of training and development. 
In comes StoryLab Academy - a new pan-Africa partnership between Code for Africa, Google News Lab, and the World Bank, which aims to rewire the continent's media through an intensive digital skills programme.
The StoryLab Academy seeks to help break down digital divides, by bringing face-to-face training into partner newsrooms across Africa, and by hosting public workshops at monthly Hacks/Hackers meetups.
So far, the program is planning on hosting 108 workshops, with 36 newsrooms and 5 universities, across 12 hub cities in Africa.
Image: Cities targeted in the launch phase.
The program will also feature a set of flexible MOOCs, which will enable journalists located outside of the hub cities to participate. Currently, lessons are planned in a range of specialist tracks ranging from investigative and data journalism, to multimedia storytelling.
All the workshops and courseware is free-of-charge and will include a combination of evening-classes and weekend bootcamps or crash-courses, each focused on a specific skill or tool.
Find out more here.