Code for Africa, with support from Google News Initiative and the World Bank’s Global Media Development ProgrammeGlobal, has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) specifically designed for African journalists.
The MOOC, which is free of charge, has 47 lessons created by some of the world’s leading digital journalism experts.
Structured around six initial courses, the lessons start with basic numeracy and continue to advanced subjects such as mapmaking and video production.
The lessons are designed to help to speed up newsgathering processes; improve journalists’ ability to check facts quickly; and provide the background necessary to produce charts, graphics and content for social sharing.
The initiative was designed to address the challenges highlighted in the State of Technology in Global Newsroom survey by the International Center for Journalists.
The survey confirms that only half of new hires in newsrooms in sub-Saharan Africa have any experience with digital news tools.
The initiative is run as an academy, underpinned by CfA’s award-winning StoryLab journalism laboratory, and has already signed-up 3,700 students while running a series of pilot MOOC courses over the past four months.
The academy also hosts monthly public workshops in 12 hub cities across the continent, in partnership with local Hacks/Hackers chapters, and offers additional seminars at 29 partner newsrooms. More than 2,850 journalists have been trained at the events.
When the academy was launched, it aimed to forge five university partners: it currently has 12 across Africa, with more to come.
Three of these universities have incorporated the academy’s curriculum into their journalism courses.