Saturday, October 29, 2016

Penplusbytes, EIB end 3-Day Data Journalism Workshop for Election Reporting in Accra

A 3-day Data Journalism Workshop to train selected Journalists from Ghana’s southern sector has successfully ended at the Maxlot Hotel in Accra.

The Workshop, organized by Penplusbytes in partnership with EIB Network and with support from the USA Embassy in Ghana, opened on Thursday, October 27, 2016 after a formal ceremony attended by representatives of key elections stakeholders such as the Ghana Police Service and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE).

The training, which comes off the heels of a similar program held for journalists from the Northern sector in Kumasi a fortnight ago, formed part of the implementation of the “Voter’s Count – amplifying voices through new digital platforms” project designed to keep citizens informed and engaged on political campaign issues to enable them make informed decisions at the polls while strengthening Ghana’s credentials as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region.

Speaking at the formal closing ceremony to present certificates to the participants, Press Attaché at the US Embassy in Ghana, Sara Veldhuizen Stealy reiterated the Mission’s commitment to supporting Ghanaian Journalists with tools that enhances their reportage. "We are interested in supporting journalists and your work doesn't necessarily need to be about us," she said.

On her part, Strategy Director of Penplusbytes, Juliet Amoah expressed her excitement with how the enthusiasm exhibited by participants, urging them to make their newly acquired skills tell on their work. She said; “the training aimed at strengthening their skills and help leverage their knowledge and experience for improved issues-based coverage of Ghana’s 2016 general elections and I’m looking forward to seeing just that.”

Afedzi Abdullah, a participant from Ghana News Agency (GNA), described the training as enlightening, saying: “the workshop served its purpose for me and I’m truly excited to have been part of it.”

According to Kuul FM’s Jemima Achivors, “the training has been truly eye-opening; one that has added on to my repertoire of skills. I believe this would improve my news coverage and reporting abilities tremendously.

In all, 15 Participants drawn from a cross-section of media organisations in Greater Accra, Volta, Eastern, Central and Western regions; comprising Print, Radio, TV and Online establishments were introduced to data Journalism, digital visualisation and digital storytelling tools and were taking through various processes of sourcing data and how to clean and analyse them to produce data-driven stories.

Participants are expected to produce and publish data-driven stories with their newly acquired skills. They will enjoy continuous support and guidance from the organizers to enable successful completions of their various story projects.

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.

EIB Network is led by a team of seasoned and competent managers who have helped in diverse ways to establish most of Ghana’s competitive media brands. A relatively new entrant in Ghana’s media landscape, EIB Network’s ambitious corporate drive is the reason for its phenomenal growth over a relatively short period. The network serves both English and twi-speaking demographics across its seven radio stations, two television stations and a newspaper.

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