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Google, other partners preparing to train African journalists at the Rcdij Data Journalism Masterclass 2022.

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As the application period for the RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2022 comes to an end, successful applicants from Africa and beyond are preparing to participate in what the organizers describe as their “farthest-reaching and most inclusive” masterclass to date, in terms of candidate profile and geographical spread. The event will take place on November 30 in Lagos.

This year’s masterclass will focus on “Climate and Environment-focused Solutions Journalism: Appraising Interventions Using Geo-Journalism Tools.” The goal is to assist journalists in developing the ability to report on and objectively evaluate interventions related to climate change and the environment.

In a statement released on Thursday, the organizers, Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ), said the event would be both in-person and virtual, open to hundreds of successful applicants from across multiple African countries and beyond.

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This year’s resource partners were revealed to be Google, Climate Home News, and Code for Africa. Ken Kiunga, Google News Lab Teaching Fellow; Sebastián Rodrguez, Special Projects Editor, Climate Home News; and Freda Victor, Data Analyst and Community Coordinator for WanaData and HacksHackers at Code for Africa are among the resource people.

Mr Sam Ibemere, Executive Director of RCDIJ, described the masterclass as a “timely and impactful medium to help African journalists develop the capacity to solve some of our time’s most pressing issues.”

He noted that the broad international interest in this year’s masterclass demonstrated RCDIJ’s growth and impact, as evidenced by years of strategic intervention in the African media ecosystem through successful programs, particularly its data journalism masterclass.

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In response to this year’s application process, Chinedu Chidi, the center’s Program Director, stated that the volume of applications far exceeded previous records. Despite the volume, he added that “painstaking effort was made to ensure that selected applicants met the set criteria for the masterclass.” “Inclusion and diversity were critical considerations in the selection of participants,” he said.

According to the organizers, participants in this year’s masterclass will receive a free 6-month subscription to the Eco-Nai+ geo-journalism tools platform. Ripples Nigeria created Eco-Nai+, Nigeria’s first dedicated digital geo-journalism platform. In 2021, it was one of the winning ideas in the Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge for Africa, Turkey, and the Middle East.

Edirin Etaghene, Editor of Ripples Nigeria, stated that coordinated media coverage was critical to the success of such a significant endeavor, noting that “we must continue to promote impactful initiatives within the media ecosystem, ensuring that journalists and media houses do not miss opportunities for growth and capacity development.”

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Dare Adekoya, Ripples Nigeria’s Digital Marketing Lead, stated his expectations for the masterclass as “advanced learning, meaningful interaction, expanded network, and multi-dimensional impact.”

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