14 May 2019

Nigeria: Google Trains Practitioners On Digital Tools for Reporting

Over 190 media practitioners in Lagos have been trained by Google on how to use digital tools to improve their trends, research/find good stories and reporting with data.

The training was part of measures to checkmate the malaise of fake news, fact-check news sources and ensure that Nigerians and people around the world read stories that are more data informed as well as help news consumers to have more clarity on things going-on globally.

Participants drawn from the traditional and new media were trained on critical digital tools such as, data pipeline, how to find data for story-telling, data stripping including verification, cleaning, analyse and presentation of data.

Other areas of capacity building include, how to use the Google sheet/file types, Google search/search refinement, collaborating using the Google drive, searching for good images via Google, using graphs/map, street images and charts for detailed story illustration.

Google's Communication and Public Affairs Manager for Anglophone & West Africa, Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade told The Guardian that the training was borne out of the realisation that journalists are important class of people who tell the right stories. He said, "Google do not own the stories, rather it aggregate them. At the end of the day, the training benefits everyone, the trainer and the trainees as well as the end users of products from media organisations. The tool does not work for everyone but the media. We want a Nigerian society that is better informed and an Africa where everyone knows what is going on and that is factual".

He added that the Internet gives them the platform to be able to manage the skills. Journalists need to know how to better manage data. In 2018, Google trained over 600 media practitioners through physical training and in addition worked with organisation like Code for Africa, to launch an online platform where journalists could log in for learning purpose and through that, we have trained 6,000 media practitioners across the continent.

The Nigeria editor of Africa Fact-Check, Mr. David Ajikobi whose organisation partner with Google for training said journalists need the tools to verify information especially in the age of fake news and information. He emphasised that its important for media practitioners to be armed with the right tools to be able to fight misinformation in the society.

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