Ripples Nigeria Centre Set To Hold Annual Data Journalism Masterclass

TECH DIGEST – The Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ) has fixed Thursday, August 5, for the 2021 edition of its annual data journalism masterclass for African journalists.

RCDIJ is a non-profit sister organisation to Ripples Nigeria online newspaper. The centre is holding this year’s masterclass edition in partnership with Ripples Nigeria, Code for Africa, BudgIT, Tracka, The Journalism Clinic, and Jet Motor Company.

A statement by Chinedu Chidi, RCDIJ Programme Director, on Tuesday, said that the specialised training tagged ‘RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2021’ will be held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to Chidi, “The one-day training will run from 9am to 5pm. The highly competitive application process for the masterclass opened on July 5, and will run until July 15.

“This year’s masterclass targets thirty (30) journalists from across the African continent who will not only receive first-class training, but will also access learning resources to support their practice of data journalism in this year’s area of focus. Journalists from across media organisations in Africa (or who are freelancing) with some experience in data and investigative journalism can apply via the RCDIJ website ( Selection of participants will, among other things, reflect inclusiveness and diversity.

“As with every year, the organising committee of the RCDIJ Data Journalism Masterclass 2021 has created focus areas for the training. This year’s major focus area is ‘Geo-Journalism’. A supporting area of focus is ‘News as Utility’.”

On the rationale for the selected focus areas, the statement quoted the Executive Director of the centre, Mr Samuel Ibemere, saying: “Our major focus area this year is Geo-Journalism. We are motivated to help guide African journalists into this relatively new area of journalism, especially in many parts of the continent, towards a more far-reaching and impactful journalism practice.

“Our goal is to empower journalists to understand geodata and effectively report on the environment, with special focus on climate change and the place of strategic intervention. Beneficiaries of our training will learn how to integrate data collection, analysis, visualisation and reporting for a holistic coverage of the environment.

“We believe empowering journalists to provide this service will help in the great cause of reversing the effects of climate change and boosting environmental sustainability”.

RCDIJ assured that the one day event would comply fully with Covid-19 safety protocols and urged successful applicants to note adherence to the protocols as a precondition for participation.

The centre said it had since launch in 2017, undertaken over hundred (100) impactful projects across Nigeria on different critical areas, including media, environment, security, corruption, health, climate change, development, democracy, elections, peace, education, migration, and resettlement.