By Eva Constantaras.
As the last Kenyan elections proved, breaking news is now often the domain of social media, not traditional media. Kenya’s increasingly wired society is demanding faster, better and more interactive information exchange.
But there is growing need and demand for in-depth content and analysis in the midst of the deluge of data and information. Increasingly, journalists are seeing a solution to the media industry crisis in data journalism.
Internews in Kenya has been a forerunner in promoting the spread of data journalism in Africa and after nearly two years of workshops, grants and events, has reached two important conclusions: about data journalism: it is a collaborative effort and requires long-term investment.
Thus emerged the 16-week Health and Data Journalism Fellowship, launched on August 19. Although only three journalists from print and television, one graphic designer and one developer will participate in the fellowship, the Internews in Kenya Data Dredger, the only African finalist for the 2013 Data Journalism Awards, and website will provide access to local and international data journalism resources.
Data Dredger is principally an educational tool for journalists seeking to prepare for digital conversion. Our fellowship blog will track this process.
- We have put a lot of thought in how to design a four-month fellowship that balances learning new technical and analytical skill, conducting field research and producing compelling multimedia data driven stories. The trainers’ blog posts will document the learning process and how our training approach evolves based on results.
- Our trainees will also be posting the data stories and visualization they produce along the way. They will not only showcase their work but also link to the original data they used to produce the stories.
Data Dredger is also a repository for all the data journalism resources, inspiration, data and tools that Kenyan journalists need to get started in data journalism.
- Our interactive and motion visualizations, organized by topic, are free for all Kenyan journalists to download and incorporate into their own stories. Shoot us an e-mail if you want us to work with you on creating a visualization that best matches your story.
- To get Kenyan journalists hooked on data, our Story of the Week section features an excellent global example of data journalism and explores how the same topic could be explored with Kenyan data.
- Mainstream Kenyan media has a long way to go to make use of all the new data available and Hits & Misses explores both homeruns for data journalism and misses on topics where hot news topics would be enriched by data.
- Stories in the Kenyan Media includes data-driven reporting produced by Kenyan journalists.
- Our data catalogue is currently under development and will include searchable datasets that journalists can filter by topic, source or year to find the data they need for their story.
- Our mailing list seeks to grow a community around data journalism in Kenya and invites participation not only by journalists but also by data sources, developers, graphic designers and anyone else in working together on data journalism projects.
Many global leaders in data journalism education including the European Journalism Centre’s Data Driven Journalism, the School of Data, the Online Journalism Blog, the Global Investigative Journalism Network, the National Institute of Computer Assisted Reporting and the Guardian Data Blog have all been integral in the design of the fellowship. We hope you follow both our blog and these sites as you grow your data and digital journalism skills.