iJourno Africa project starts in Accra

iJourno Africa has set out to fill a yawning gap in the curriculum of the various journalism training institutions in Ghana and the rest of the continent, by building the capacity of the students to use data and new media tools to tell developmental stories.

A pan-African organization iJourno Africa, which is nurturing the continent’s next generation of ace journalists, has officially started training student journalists in Accra.

The organization held its first ‘journoshop’ at the New Media hub at Labone in Accra on November 14, 2015, where close to 30 students from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Central University College (CUC) and the African University College of Communications (AUCC) turned up for the training for free.

One of the students said: “I am really happy for this opportunity. We do a lot of theory stuff in school which don’t even include data journalism and new media so you can imagine how I jumped at this opportunity.”

Another said: “I really want to be the ‘360’ kind of journalist. You know the world is really moving fast and I don’t want to be obsolete.”

Two facilitators from the US - Melanie Stetson Freeman and Ryan Lenora Brown from South Africa; took turns to train the students.

Ace Ghanaian journalist Gary Al Smith was one of three facilitators. He spoke on the topic “The Future of Journalism and New Media.”

The Founder and Executive Director of iJourno Africa, Nana Boakye-Yiadom revealed that “There will be iJourno Africa chapters in Senegal, Kenya and Cote D’Ivoire by the end of the first quarter in 2016.”

According to Mr Boakye-Yiadom, he is hoping to nurture more than 1,000 data journalists from the African continent by the end of 2017.

“Thankfully, I have friends who are great data journalists across the world,"  He said, "They are happy about the project and yearning to come down to Ghana to help us train these students.”


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