October 15 marks the launch date for Dataphyte’s maiden campus journalism initiative. The data development outfit will admit 155 ambassadors for data journalism training selected from 35 tertiary institutions across the country.
Dataphyte and Interactive have a mandate for national development with data journalism being the unique advocacy tool for this. It is for this reason Dataphyte has is hosting this fellowship. Following the induction is an intensive data journalism training on October 15 and 16, 2020.
Speaking on the initiative, Joshua Olufemi, Dataphyte founder/CEO said, “Data journalism has become an undeniable frontier for media and literacy in the Global North. However, the gaps in knowledge and implementation in the African media landscape remain a cause for concern. We have also observed a deficit in quality output from existing data journalists although, one could attribute this to the novelty of the concept. Not to mention data journalism concepts cut across different disciplines, such as statistics and information technology.
“More so, with the adoption of open data policy in Nigeria, the need for effective data journalism becomes apparent. With the rapidly expanding troves of data in different sectors of the economy, a reporter without the skills to first analyze these concepts might find themselves in the deep end.”
Olufemi added that “Ergo, the campus journalist ambassador program will mentor campus journalists in digital skills, including accountability journalism, use of spreadsheets, writing for the web, and critical thinking.”
Dataphyte’s Programme Lead notes that “while not every journalist needs to code, everyone who works in the media does need to be digitally literate, numerate… So comprehension of how technology relates to data sourcing, storytelling, and audience development and relationship is sacrosanct.
The Campus Journalist Ambassador Programme will also provide campus journalists with the platform to share tips, tools and opportunities that will make them leaders in the data journalism space.