A Pan-African Partnership
Giving African newsrooms access to the world’s best
digital experts and storytelling technologies.
The Future Is Here
African newsrooms often feel left behind.
Access to the tools and know-how to leapfrog into digital journalism is often limited to only a few newsrooms.
This new partnership seeks to change that, by bringing together Code for Africa’s local expertise with Google News Initiative’s global training initiative, the World Bank’s rich data and information resources and HacksHackers Africa’s online community of 30,000 news geeks across the continent.
Together, we’ll build on Code for Africa’s award-winning StoryLab digital journalism laboratory, which has physical hubs in four African countries along with an existing global network of roving data journalists and digital creatives who help newsrooms on projects ranging from investigative data analysis, to drone journalism and 360° video.
The new Academy adds additional learning materials and media partnerships that expand the geographic footprint and online reach through four initial programmes:
Newsroom Partnerships: the Academy is partnering with 36 newsrooms for bi-weekly onsite workshops and StoryLab support to use digital skills on new flagship projects. Get more details here.
Mass Open Online Course (MOOC): a set of flexible online courses will simultaneously help African journalists anywhere on the continent by giving modular lessons for both beginners and those with more advanced skills in a range of specialist tracks ranging from investigative and data journalism, to multimedia storytelling. Get more details here.
Public Workshops: Face-to-face tuition remains an important of the Academy approach, with workshops and masterclasses co-hosted with local Hacks/Hackers chapters in the 12 target cities, along with support for local study groups and small seed-grants for team projects using the new skills. Get more details events.
University Partnerships: the Academy will also work with African journalism schools to help customise and localise the best available international curricula to strengthen digital journalism training, and to bring in guest lecturers from rolemodel newsrooms. Get more details here.
“For journalists, 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. That’s why we are announcing our support for [this] new digital journalism initiative,” explains Google News Lab’s head of training and development, Daniel Sieberg.
Much of the instruction material was developed within Africa. The hands-on data journalism training materials that complements Google’s online tutorials were developed and tested in the Sudan and Kenya by the World Bank. The courseware runs alongside repositories of local data (for exercises or projects) and a library of open source software code for easy-to-deploy news apps and visualisations created by Code for Africa teams in Nigeria and Tanzania.
Code for Africa (CfA) is the continent’s largest federation of data journalism and civic technology laboratories, with labs in four countries and affiliates in a further six countries. CfA manages the $1m/year innovateAFRICA.fund and $500,000/year impactAFRICA.fund, as well as key digital democracy resources such as the openAFRICA.net data portal and the GotToVote.cc election toolkit. CfA’s labs also incubate a series of trendsetting initiatives, including the PesaCheck fact-checking initiative in East Africa, the continental africanDRONE network, and the African Network of Centres for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) that spearheaded Panama Papers probes across the continent.
Google News Initiative empowers the creation of media that improves people’s lives. It’s mission is to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs everywhere to build the future of media with Google. It does this through product partnerships, media trainings, and programs that foster the development of the news industry as a whole. Google began its support for digital and data journalism in Africa in 2010 through intensive workshops and continues to offer newsroom-targeted trainings. It also supported innovateAFRICA’s predecessor, the African News Innovation Challenge, in 2012.
The World Bank Global Media Development Programme helps the media leverage digital technologies to strengthen its role as a driver of good governance. In Africa, this has included support for data-driven journalism training starting in 2011, as part of efforts to improve the media’s analytical capacity. The World Bank also works with African governments to help make data for decisionmaking on development and economic issues more easily available to citizens and the media. The World Bank’s support has included co-funding for the SudanData.org to build statistical capacity and data literacy amongst journalists, as well as support for the HURUmap initiative to make census and demographic data more easily available to African newsrooms.