iJourno Africa, a non-profit new media training organization has held its first 2021 data journalism training for student journalists in Accra.
The one-day free training program which featured 30 participants was aimed at equipping them with the relevant skills in using data and digital tools in news writing and storytelling.
The programme was held at the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana in partnership with campus-based, Radio Univers on Saturday, May 8, 2021.
Over the past years, the pan-African media organization has nurtured students and other media practitioners to make use of data analysis in educating and informing the public about running and developing news stories.
Trainers at the workshop included Bernard Avle, General Manager at Citi FM/Citi TV, Jonas Nyabor, the coordinator for iJourno Africa and Yaw Owusu Antwi, Digital Media Designer at Citi FM/Citi TV.
Mr. Avle, who took participants through the topic, ‘Data Journalism and Why it Matters’, emphasized the importance of data-driven stories and the need for journalists to be data-savvy adding that such a skill set is an essential addition to the already existing traditional media practice.
“Journalism is changing. In the past, the most important thing needed to be a great journalist was to write very well. That is still important today, but you don’t need to be a great writer to be a journalist today. It is also better if you do number crunching.”
“People are looking for meanings in stories, and the meanings are in the analysis- that is using data to make sense of situations and understand phenomena”, Mr. Avle added.
He also encouraged participants to often make use of independent interpretation of official information in shaping their story ideas.
“Newsrooms are evolving. The future of journalism is going to be data-heavy. Because the understanding of data will enable you to authoritatively explain things.”
Participants also had the opportunity to have practical hands on how to work with and visualize data.
Institutions represented were students from the University of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Journalism, GhMedia school and other individuals who expressed interest in the training.
“I think the future of journalism is steeped in data journalism and I believe every individual should take data journalism as a craft to enhance their media practice”, one of the participants said.
Some others who shared their views after the workshop said, the knowledge acquired from the data journalism workshop will help enrich their news writing skills and reportage.
“For me, what I learnt was that we should be able to make sense of data and communicate with it. In all, it has been an insightful session, and I am glad I was here.”
“It was a worthwhile experience. I suggest that everyone within the journalism space should be able to expose themselves to a training like this. It is very important”, another participant noted.
Jonas Nyabor said iJourno Africa is hoping to train about 200 student journalists across Ghana in data journalism and other useful new media skills by the end of 2021.
He said the organization is engaging other journalism institutions for possible partnerships to carry out the training in order to address the missing gaps in the practice of journalism in the country.Read Full Story