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Ghana’s journalists get data boot camp

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghanaian journalists, developers and media creatives are participating in the first ever data literacy programme known as the Data Journalism Boot camp in Accra.

The workshop is being held under the theme 'Elections & Civic Watchdog Media, using Open Data', and is funded by the World Bank Institute and supported by Google and Africa Media Initiative program together with Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI).

Trainers for the workshop are drawn from diverse backgrounds with immense experience in the use of Open Data.

Journalists are finding the workshop very useful and interesting, as it provides them with hands-on learning on data journalism, which includes where to find high-value data, scraping, cleaning, visualising, and crafting narratives from the data.

The Board chairman for the Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI), Nii Narku Quaynor, noted the importance the government of Ghana and his outfit attached to the workshop and noted that the program is put together to help especially journalists in Ghana to build local base contents making good use of Open Data.

To convey the point to enable readers to understand and make informed decisions, journalists using Open Data will be able to the use maps, charts and illustrations in their reportage to tell their story in clear and simple way.

According to Michael Buaer, a technologist, digital activist and an open data specialist, data journalists present complex information in simple ways to help readers or consumers of news.

The use of open date by media practioners in Ghana has become necessary as the country enters another election year. Media practitioners were also taken through Google fusion table to help them access the country's demographics through Google platform, to transform ordinary scripts into simple data visual format. 

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