Code-4-Africa strengthens data knowledge of journalists

The Code-4-Africa (CfA) says it will continue to drive innovative journalism that entails using credible data sources to tell exciting investigative stories that will bring positive social change to the society.

Mr John Eromosele, the Civic Technologist, Code for Africa (CfA), said this during the August edition of Hacks/Hackers meet-up in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Code-4-Africa, a chapter of the CfA, is a non-partisan civic data and civic technology ‘change agent’.

It uses civic technologies and open data to build digital democracies that afford citizens timely and unfettered access to actionable information.

Such pieces of information empower citizens to make informed decisions that strengthen civic engagement for improved public governance and accountability.

The August edition of Hacks/Hackers meet-up training had: “Using Official Statistics for Storytelling in Nigeria’’ as its theme.

Eromosele told NAN that CfA was collaborating with Brown Institute and UN Data Forum on the training.

He said that they intended to equip journalists with skills that would change the narratives of using official data to tell and illustrate stories better for wider and enhanced audience engagement.

He said that the training focused on demonstrating how journalists in Lagos, Abuja and Benin could leverage on official statistics and resources provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for storytelling.

“NBS is the official data repository for Nigeria and resources available on its website will be leveraged on by journalists to tell credible and engaging stories,’’ he said.

Eromosele also said that CfA had formed a partnership with various media organisation newsrooms and engaged in training sessions to upgrade the capacities and skills of journalists in data reporting.

A participant at the training, Abdusalam Amoo, who is a journalist at Educeleb, said that the training session was exciting.

He said that he learnt more about data scraping and visualisation tools during the monthly meet-up.

“The training session has made it easy for me to identify where the data are and how to interpret them,’’ he said.

Also, Femi Omotayo, a writer with the `Indicator’ Magazine, said that the training session should be extended beyond two hours to allow participants to practise what they had learnt.

The monthly meet-up lasts two hours from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. and it takes place simultaneously in Abuja – FCT, Benin in Edo and Lagos.

“I feel not much can be achieved because the time is too short.

“The session is packed with loads of information, which I feel require more time for practical sessions,’’ he said.

Mr Abdulfatah Babatunde, a Deputy-Editor-In-Chief (DEIC) with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended the CfA for the initiative.

He said that the partnership between the CfA and NAN had enhanced news reportage and delivery to the delight of the agency’s teeming clients. (NAN)

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