By Chinedu Chidi
The Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ), a non-profit sister organisation to Ripples Nigeria, Nigeria’s award-winning online newspaper, is set to hold the 2021 edition of its annual data journalism masterclass for African journalists.
In partnership with Ripples Nigeria, Code for Africa, BudgIT, Tracka, The Journalism Clinic, and Jet Motor Company, the centre will hold its specialised training tagged ‘RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2021’ on Thursday, August 5, at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. The one-day training will run from 9am to 5pm. The highly competitive application process for the masterclass opened on July 5, and will run until July 15.
This year’s masterclass targets thirty (30) journalists from across the African continent who will not only receive first-class training, but will also access learning resources to support their practice of data journalism in this year’s area of focus. Journalists from across media organisations in Africa (or who are freelancing) with some experience in data and investigative journalism can apply via the RCDIJ website (www.rcdij.org/djm2021). Selection of participants will, among other things, reflect inclusiveness and diversity.
As with every year, the organising committee of the RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2021 has created focus areas for the training. This year’s major focus area is ‘Geo-Journalism’. A supporting area of focus is ‘News as Utility’.
Speaking on the rationale for the selected focus areas, the Executive Director of the centre, Mr Samuel Ibemere, said, “Our major focus area this year is Geo-Journalism. We are motivated to help guide African journalists into this relatively new area of journalism, especially in many parts of the continent, towards a more far-reaching and impactful journalism practice.
“Our goal is to empower journalists to understand geodata and effectively report on the environment, with special focus on climate change and the place of strategic intervention. Beneficiaries of our training will learn how to integrate data collection, analysis, visualisation and reporting for a holistic coverage of the environment.
“We believe empowering journalists to provide this service will help in the great cause of reversing the effects of climate change and boosting environmental sustainability”.
The centre says the event will comply fully with Covid-19 safety protocols and advised successful applicants to note adherence to the protocols as a precondition for participation.
Over the years, the RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass has covered wide-ranging areas of focus including Conflict Reporting, Migration Crisis Reporting, Public Sector Finance Reporting, Open Contracting, among others.
Since its launch in 2017, the centre has undertaken over hundred (100) impactful projects across Nigeria on different critical areas, including media, environment, security, corruption, health, climate change, development, democracy, elections, peace, education, migration, and resettlement.