Monday, November 30, 2015

Opportunity for Reporters in Ghana: BBC Africa (Ghana) seek local correspondent

Job Introduction

The BBC is the leading international broadcaster in Africa reaching a weekly audience of more than 90 million on Radio, TV, Digital (language sites and, Mobile and Social Media. We broadcast to Africa in English, Hausa, Somali, French, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kiswahili & Arabic. We are committed to broadcasting to and from the continent in a style that meets the demands of our growing audience and as well as our language services, our presence in the region is also defined by our bureaux, special correspondents and bilingual reporters.  We are committed to delivering news and information to people across Africa and insights from Africa to audiences around the globe.

Role Responsibility

As part of a team of reporters across Africa, you will supply timely, expert and authoritative coverage of news, current affairs and events from Accra and the wider West Africa region for TV, radio, digital and mobile contributing in English.

You will also be expected to provide contact numbers, interviewees, set up discussion programmes, take still photographs and video footage, contribute actively to the BBC Africa’s social media output and provide other programme material to the wider BBC to ensure that our audiences enjoy accurate, engaging, timely and thought-provoking content.

The Ideal Candidate

You will be an experienced Reporter with a high level of written and spoken English and an authoritative microphone voice. You must have experience in producing innovative material whilst consciously implementing balanced editorial judgement. With a thorough knowledge of Ghana and West African affairs together with an understanding of international affairs, you will be familiar with the region and be able to demonstrate an in depth knowledge of our audience’s needs. You must be able to produce two-ways and make radio and television packages as well as demonstrating an interest in and passion for social media as this is crucial to connecting with our audience.

You will be expected to travel frequently and at time across West Africa without warning which is often dictated by events as they happen, so we will be looking to benefit from your flexible approach.

Working knowledge of Hausa particularly desirable but any of French, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, Somali, Kiswahili or Arabic would be of interest.

Package Description
Job Title: Reporter, BBC Africa
Contract: 1 x permanent vacancy (Local Terms)
Location: Accra Ghana
About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are very important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below. You’ll be asked questions relating to them as part of your application for this role.

Read More: 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Five tools for journalists’ online safety, privacy highlighted during Aaron Swartz Day event

Digital rights advocates often say the best way to fight government or even private surveillance is encryption.

Many news organizations and journalists investigating corruption or human rights abuses look to these encryption tools to overcome security threats, but the digital world is still built to make us rely on third parties to store our information.

“The worst practice that journalists are doing with their security is relying on third parties that they don't control, that they shouldn’t depend on, to protect their privacy,” said Micah Lee, an expert on source protection and cryptography, at a recent privacy conference in San Francisco held to celebrate Aaron Swartz Day.

In memory of Swartz, who developed SecureDrop to let sources anonymously share information with journalists, organizations like the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Internet Archive got together to hack on known or new tools to help journalists keep their data and sources safe.

Lee, who works at The Intercept, teaches people like Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald and other reporters how to use state-of-the-art security measures when dealing with sensitive information.

“If you store your story drafts in Google docs, or your newspaper uses Gmail or Hotmail, not its own email server, I think that’s pretty bad,” he said. “If there is some investigation into your sources, authorities will send a request to those third parties, not to you.”

These are some tools featured over the weekend:

Onion Share

Developed by Lee, Onion Share lets anybody securely share any size file. Instead of carrying sensitive information provided by sources on USBs or portable devices, reporters can share it in this temporary, untraceable website.

"It is like Dropbox, but encrypted and reliable. As soon as the person downloads the file, it can be erased from the server and it’s no longer accessible to anyone,” explained Lee. If a reporter or a source wants to send files, the tool creates a URL and a password that can be shared via encrypted messages. Freelancers can find this tool useful for communicating with whistleblowers.

Tor Messenger

If you are familiar with the TOR Project, currently the best way to navigate online without leaving trace, you will be glad to learn that it recently launched TOR Messenger. The cross-platform tool facilitates encrypted chats on a variety of networks like Facebook and Gchat. Lee recommended to run it with Jabber or Xmpp, which are “decentralized servers owned by privacy nonprofits that are more into keeping your data secure than giant corporations.”


OpenArchive is a mobile application that seeks to preserve audiovisual civic media in a secure way.
“A lot of citizen journalists take photos of human rights abuses or videos of police brutality, and they are hesitant to put it on social media immediately,” explained OpenArchive founder Natalie Cadranel. “They want to give it to someone they trust, so they could upload into the Archive, using a pseudonym if needed, and the app makes it widely available for a long time.”

The app, currently in beta for Android, uses mobile TOR technology to allow people on the ground to send sensitive images without fear of being tracked. All content uploaded to OpenArchive will have a Creative Commons license. In the future, the idea is to make this content searchable.


Keybase is an open directory of public keys that you can verify through social media accounts. A public key combined with a private key can be used to effectively encrypt messages. If a source is sending you an encrypted email and you want to verify that person is reliable, the Keybase directory can tell you who's that key, according to his or her profiles on Twitter, Reddit, Github, Bitcoin and domain names. “The tool is a beta code, so it needs more development to be verified through Facebook or Instagram,” Jeremy Stribling, co-founder of Keybase, said.

Journalists can create a Keybase account and share their public key. That way, sources can verify who they’re sharing information with. It’s a trust model that seeks to avoid impersonation. “If you put a link to your Keybase account in the footer of your articles, anybody can search your profile and verify you through your social media accounts,” added Stribling.


Don’t confuse it with the Facebook or Linkedin Signal apps. This tool, developed by Open Whisper System, allows you to make encrypted voice calls, as well as send encrypted text messages, with your existing number and the contacts that also download the app. The one problem with sources talking to journalists through Signal? If the phone gets seized, authorities would know they have been in touch, although they won’t get access to the content of conversations.

Source: IJNET

Monday, November 23, 2015

GIS Role in National Development to Take Center Stage at Evening Encounter

Penplusbytes’ New Media Hub will on Thursday, November 26th 2015, host it’s 4th in the series of Evening Encounters with Mr. Foster Mensah, the Executive Director of the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS) of the University of Ghana, Legon. He will be sharing with participants the Role and Importance of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping in Ghana’s National Development Agenda. RSVP Now to join (

In spite of its short history, ample evidence is emerging of Geographic Information System (GIS) contributions to knowledge creation for development planning, management, and policy formulation in Ghana. This assertion about GIS will be further explored and critically assessed by CERSGIS through its Executive Director when he takes his turn to engage stakeholders. The Evening Encounter event will court the participation of technical and development experts across all sectors of Ghana including students and members of Academia.

Kwami Ahiabenu, II, Executive Director of Penplusbytes, contented that the GIS community is playing and will continue to play important role in development planning and resource allocation in Ghana. “However, not much of an information is out there except within a close knit of technologists. This Evening Encounter is an apt opportunity to shed more light on the importance of GIS applications in aiding Ghana’s growth,” he added.

Globally, the enormous potential of GIS applications to circumventing a wide range of multi-sectorial development challenges is just now beginning to be realized. Presently, public and private sector players worldwide are devising innovative ways to harnessing the data integration and spatial visualization power of GIS into their projects with many of these companies and organizations spanning a broad spectrum of national development priority sectors.

As part of his delivery and interactions, Mr. Foster Mensah, a Geodetic Engineer and head of CERSGIS will also take participants through highlights of what the Centre is about, their successes and how these are advancing national development.

RSVP today to join other development oriented individuals, students, technologists, policy makers, organisations and institutions at this information and knowledge sharing session.


Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.

CERSGIS is a self-supporting organisation established by the University of Ghana and the Environmental protection Agency (EPA) providing GIS and Remote Sensing services to various government, non-government institutions and the private sectors.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

African Journalists Deepen Extractives Knowledge In Redesigned Learning Course

Bernard Tabaire (arm raised), a trainer from the African Centre for Media Excellence, leads a mentoring session for Ugandan participants.
With over a decade of journalism experience, Xinhua News Agency senior correspondent Justice Adoboe is far more experienced than the typical NRGI media trainee. In covering the complex extractives space, however, Adoboe said he has room to grow. NRGI trainers, meanwhile, discovered the course itself had to grow and change.

“The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Adoboe said. “But here … we old dogs are learning new tricks to report [on] the extractive sector much better than we were doing.”
Adoboe was among 24 journalists from Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda who took an October foundation course on governance issues in the oil, gas, and mining industries under a program on effective media oversight.

After nearly five years running a journalist-tailored training curriculum, NRGI reviewed, revised and updated course content to ensure it was fresh and responsive to journalist needs.

Organized around the natural resource decision chain, participants learned about countries’ steps toward exploiting and managing resource wealth for public good.

Sessions focused on finding and using authoritative information sources and data analysis. Journalists learned about the laws that govern extractive activities and options available to a government for managing and distributing resource revenues.

This allowed Ghanaian reporter Prince Appiah to delve deeper into the natural resource industries.
“What I knew was on the surface. I’ve been writing stories on mining but I always fell short, especially when interviewing,” he said. “I didn’t know the right questions to ask.” Reflecting on his course experience, he said, “It’s like a school. I’m learning so much. I’m happy especially with the legal and institutional framework. My expectations have been met.”

Frederic Musisi from Uganda had covered the energy beat for five years, but wanted to learn more about underlying extractive issues. Attending the training raised his level of awareness on revenue sharing, sovereign wealth and heritage funds, and ideal sector oversight. He had some understanding of the issues, he said, but he “never really bothered about the seriousness of these issues and how they’re beneficial for my country.”

The training also offered the participating journalists access to extractive industry sources like Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, chairman of Ghana’s Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC).
Buah-Bassuah appeared as a guest speaker to talk about PIAC’s annual petroleum revenue management. His comments on the committee’s funding crisis made one of the main stories on Accra-based Joy FM in a Newsnight report by course participant Elton Brobbey.

Now in the fifth year, the program has trained 126 mostly early- to mid-career reporters in the three countries. Penplusbytes, NRGI’s local implementing partner in Ghana, hosted the 12-day regional core course. It will be followed up by three parallel 10-day national courses starting on 30 November in all three countries. NRGI partners with theJournalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania and the African Centre for Media Excellence in Uganda. 

Opportunity: UNESCO global design contest for World Press Freedom Day 2016

Information, information and more information! We all make decisions based on the information we have. Access to quality information, especially public information, helps make better informed decisions.

Freedom of information is a human right. It is also an integral part of the fundamental human right of freedom of expression “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. Freedom of information is also a precondition for informed public participation in governance and in the democratic process. 

In recent years, there have been many concerns with the restriction on the flow of information. Issues such as surveillance overreach, the security of private data, and protection of journalists’ sources have all come to center stage in the last few years. 

On World Press Freedom Day on the 3 May 2016, we want to put a spot light on the importance of freedom of information and the need to create a culture of openness and transparency by running a contest to create the “global look” for the visual identity of WPFD2016. The global thematic of the WPFD 2016 is “This Is Your Right! Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms”
We are looking for designs that encapsulate the idea of culture of openness and transparency. It should consider that everyone should have the rights to publicly held information (except in very specific cases) and that access to quality information has the potential to improve quality of life.

The winning design must be adaptable to different formats including for usage on UNESCO website banner, social media networks, standing banner (roll-up banner), A3-ratio print poster, A4-size booklet, conference badges, and interview backdrop. It should also factor in that the final design will be made in the six official languages of UNESCO (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Russian) 

UNESCO is the United Nations specialized agency with the mandate to protect freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity. UNESCO oft quoted famous founding words states that since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed. 

For more information, please visit
  • Winner of the competition will be remunerated to create the “global look” for World Press Freedom Day 2016 for print and online uses.
  • Honourable mention for the top 19 submissions. Selected submissions will be featured on UNESCO’s dedicated website for the Day.
Technical note:
All design must be in vector format and be submitted to UNESCO in A4-size (portrait)
Once selected, the winning designer must be able to work with UNESCO to adapt the winning design into various formats including UNESCO website banner, social media networks, standing banner (roll-up banner), A3-ratio print poster, A4-size booklet, conference badges, and interview backdrop. 

Deadline for submission: 20 November 2015. Please submit your design to wpfd2016(at)
The contest is open to all interested designers. 

Legal note:
By submitting to the contest, the designer agrees to grant UNESCO the right to publish, reproduce, diffuse, and communicate to the public in any form and platform, including digital, all or in part of the design.