Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism: Advancing a free press in Africa
The Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ), a non-profit sister organisation to Ripples Nigeria, Nigeria’s award-winning online newspaper, on Thursday, November 26, 2020, in line with its mandate to advance the practice of journalism in Africa, hosted yet another edition of its annual data journalism masterclass for journalists in Africa.
Being a continued effort towards its strategic plan to assist journalists from across the African continent access learning resources to support their practice of data journalism, the one-day event saw the convergence of 40 African journalists from different organisations.
Focused on Open Contracting/Procurement; Public Sector Projects Tracking/Monitoring, and Data Journalism, the masterclass dived deep into vital areas of great importance not only to the practice of journalism, but the development of society as a whole.
It was a huge success thanks to invaluable partnerships, notable among which was the one with innovative automobile maker, Jet Motor Company.
A Partnership for Change
For its strategic partnership contribution, Jet Motor Company provided mobility support to RCDIJ. It made available its exquisite Jet Mover bus to the centre to convey journalists from Lagos to Abuja where the masterclass held. True to its brand slogan, the Jet Mover is indeed ‘Excellence in Motion’.
Embracing the vision of the centre as it seeks to present opportunities for journalists to deploy critical data journalism skills that will ensure transparency and accountability in public sector contracting/procurement, and project implementation, Jet Motor Company further underscored its commitment to responsible social intervention.
Appreciating the challenges often faced by African journalists who are expected to be watchdogs for society, the Jet Motor Company partnership comes as a partnership for change, restating the automobile company’s commitment towards the advancement of a free press in Africa.
Journalists conveyed to the masterclass who were exposed to international best practice in data storytelling, data harvesting and presentation, can now dig deep to focus on serious issues affecting society in a bid to identify solutions through investigation, research, data analysis and presentation.
Jet Mover: Innovation on Wheels
Undoubtedly a pointer to future tech-efficient mobility in Africa with custom automobile features that fuse European commercial vehicle design with Eastern industrial craftsmanship, the Jet Mover from Jet Motor Company is a model for the future of transportation in Africa.
The Jet Mover is considered the perfect choice for cost-conscious automobile tech enthusiasts with a unique sense of taste. Boldly, it sharply departs from traditional designs as it embraces innovation to enhance each ride experience, inspiring a full appreciation of advanced technology in motion.
Built for speed, its 6-gear system seamlessly alternates rapidly. A haven of comfort and safety, the Jet Mover provides enhanced safety features such as airbags, side arm rests, and soft cushion on every segment of the vehicle.
Beyond safety, speed, exquisite design and comfort, the Jet Mover is a leader in fuel economy. With an advanced fuel injection technology, the machine operates a balance between raw power and minimal fuel consumption.
The Partnership in Motion
Before the event, some journalists residing in Lagos cruised into Abuja with a Jet Mover, experiencing first-hand, the power of advanced automobile innovation.
The long, yet pleasurable ride lasted 12 hours, connecting Abuja from Lagos through major cities, with stopovers in Kogi and Ondo states. It was a good way to experience Nigeria’s underbelly. It was also an opportunity to observe possible changes to police operations on the highways since the #EndSARS protests in October.
Unlike the usual complaints of weariness and fatigue that often dogged road trips, journalists aboard the Jet Mover relished every moment, touting the unique comfort from start to finish.
Ben Ugbana, sports correspondent and editor, who shared the facility with other journalists, noted that the ride was a pleasure of sorts, affirming the yet-unbeaten level of comfort enjoyed. According to Ben, the personalised high-end audio-visual entertainment equipment in the bus was a perfect travel companion.
He said: “The design got me, I must confess. I love how the facility is designed to promote privacy where one can ride for long hours without noticing other passengers.
“Everyone is provided a multimedia device that is enough as recreational gadget. Through the journey, I played games, listened to some of my favourite songs, read e-books and watched videos from the set. It’s a perfect travel companion,” he added.
A Lasting Impact
Commending the effort of the centre (and partners like Jet Motor Company) for facilitating the career-advancing opportunity, journalists from various organisations who spoke with Ripples Nigeria after the event, expressed elation at having been selected to be part of the masterclass of the hundreds that applied.
Among these voices, Yusuf Akinpelu, a data journalist, leading the Premium Times data desk, described the development as an eye opener and a good one “to wrap up the year” with. According to him, “the training will go a long way to assist traditional journalists to appreciate use of data in developing rich stories that speak more value and give confidence to the profession.”
He added: “This training is no doubt a good one, most especially because data journalism is a new trend in Nigeria. This is about tagging along to match international standards as this is the global practice. I, therefore, commend the centre. And do hope that such trainings will continue to better the lot of our local journalists. To say it was beneficial to me personally is to say the least.”
Author: Ridwan Adelaja…
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