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Ripples Nigeria centre set to hold training for African journalists

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Ripples Centre to train select journalists on open contracting, data journalism

The Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ), has concluded plans for a one-day training on open contracting and data journalism for reporters.

RDCIJ, a non-profit sister organisation to Ripples Nigeria, Nigeria’s award-winning online newspaper, in partnership with Open Contracting Partnership, Code for Africa, BudgIT, Tracka, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), and JetSystems, will hold the specialised training tagged ‘RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2020’ on Thursday, November 26, at Work and Connect, 50 Ubitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja.

A statement issued by the RDCIJ Programme Director, Chinedu Chidi on Wednesday, said the one-day training will run from 9am to 5pm while application for the highly competitive training will open on November 2 and will run until November 15, 2020.

Chidi added that this year’s masterclass targets forty (40) journalists from across the African continent who will not only receive first-class training, but will also access learning resources to support their practice of data journalism.

The statement further enjoin Journalists from across media organisations in Africa (or who are freelancing) with some experience in data and investigative journalism to apply via the RCDIJ website (www.rcdij.org), adding that selection of participants will, among other things, reflect inclusiveness and diversity.

The RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2020, according to the statement, has narrowed the training’s focus into three key areas, namely, Open Contracting/Procurement; Public Sector Projects Tracking/Monitoring, and Data Journalism.

The statement further qouted the Executive Director of the centre, Mr Samuel Ibemere as saying: “2020 has been a truly challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only has the pandemic directly upended life as we know it, its fallouts have also been gravely damaging.

“One area that has occupied the spotlight is government’s financial response to the crisis. The allegations of mismanagement and fraud that have dogged the entire process, from procurement to distribution of resources, bring to the fore, the essential value of open contracting, public sector projects monitoring, and data journalism.

Read also: BudgIT, Code for Africa, others train journalists at the Ripples Centre data journalism masterclass

“This presents a unique opportunity for journalists to deploy critical data journalism skills that will ensure transparency and accountability in the public sector contracting/procurement, and project implementation phases. But they have to be trained first. It is this challenge that RCDIJ, with the generous support of its partners, is taking up at this year’s masterclass”.

It would be recalled that the RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass trained fifty (50) journalists last year in partnership with Code for Africa, BudgIT, and the International Press Centre (IPC).

The 2019 training also featured CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award winner, Arukaino Umukoro, as it focused on the application of data journalism techniques to three (3) important areas of reporting, namely, Conflict Reporting, Migration Crisis Reporting, Public Sector Finance Reporting.

The Data Journalism Masterclass is one of the many projects being embarked upon by RCDIJ.

The centre, an affiliate of Ripples Nigeria (www.ripplesnigeria.com), Nigeria’s foremost multimedia online news platform, is dedicated to the improvement of the human condition through journalism, public advocacy, empowerment, direct social intervention, among others.

Since its launch in 2017, the centre has undertaken over hundred (100) impactful projects across Nigeria on different critical areas, including media, environmental sustainability, security, corruption, health, development, democracy, elections, peace, education, migration, and resettlement.

A major highlight of the centre’s projects is its annual public empowerment event tagged, Ripples Dialogue. The dialogue, held in conjunction with Ripples Nigeria, brings together some of the most influential personalities to enlighten, empower and challenge media practitioners, civil society, and the general public.

In the past, the event has been headlined by Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, with a supporting cast that included Peter Obi, former Anambra State governor, and Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Chairperson of Transition Monitoring Group and Founder of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, among others. Discussions have centred around the theme, ‘Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Nigeria’.

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