Code for Ghana Announces Media Partners For The 2015 Followship Programme

Following the call for application made by the Code for Ghana team, we are happy to announce that we have selected three media houses amongst the many that applied. These are: Ghana News Agency, Graphic Communications Group Limited and Citi fm.

The Code for Ghana project intends to bring innovation into the newsrooms of the selected media houses. We intend to do this by embedding highly qualified professionals in software development, data analysis, User Experience and User Interface designers etc. in the news rooms of the selected media houses stated above. These teams of Data Experts will serve as catalysts and enablers to help create the internal systems and resources necessary to entrench data as a critical component of the Ghanaian newsroom culture. They will also be responsible for the creation of Open Data platforms: avenues that afford citizens the privilege of direct access to useful and accurate data.

To the layman on the streets of Accra, the data sets that are released every year by the government may mean nothing. This is because the data is usually in figures and not much sense could be made of it. This has necessitated the addition of data analysts to our team of professionals. These data analysts will help simplify and represent the data in more understandable forms such as: graphs, pie charts, maps etc. In so doing, even a cursory glance at the infographics will give the reader a certain level of understanding of what it is all about – as opposed to long tables of figures. Mobile phone applications or online portals could be developed solely to make the information accessible to the general public. The collaboration between the software developers and the media houses will produce a sustained interest in data-driven journalism. This is what we yearn to achieve.

According to Florence Toffa, the Project Manager “this project is intended to deepen the democratic atmosphere we are already enjoying as a people. We intend to place the otherwise highly classified information – which need not be so – in the hands of the general public. To ensure that they gain adequate understanding of the activities of the government; hence they can make constructive criticism where necessary. Simply put, our aim is to encourage citizen engagement and collective-action which will in turn keep the government on its toes. In the end we will all benefit tremendously.”

We are pleased by the interest showed by the various media houses that applied to be a part of this project – especially the three selected. The project will commence soon; we hope to team up and work hard enough for the greater good of this country. The task ahead requires a lot of brainstorming and cooperation from all the parties involved. Let’s all join hands in establishing data-driven journalism in the entire media landscape of this country. We look forward to a wonderful partnership.

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