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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hammer prescribes open data-driven journalism for Africa media

The Lead Operations Officer, World Bank Institute’s Global Media Development programme, Mr. Craig Hammer has offered some prescription to drive African media on open data, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Speaking at a 3-day workshop on reporting agriculture put together by Africa Media Initiative (AMI) and World Bank in the city of Abidjan at the weekend, Mr. Hammer, said that data-driven journalism would drive good governance, accountability and global knowledge economy.
Hammer, who dwelt on ‘Data-Driven Journalism Media,’ defined data as information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to analyze.
He also revealed that World Bank has over 9000 data that could be explored by any analysts including journalists in dissecting information for the simple understanding of ordinary citizens.
According to him, today’s world is ruled by three distinct paths, especially for media practitioners, which include having access to information and open data, finding agriculture data with today’s relevance and finally, using open data-driven journalism knowhow based on ideas to deliver their stories.
African media practitioners, Hammer said, must first decide which issues matter to them nowadays and what are ‘the right’ questions which will attract the right answers or responses either from the data base or potential respondents.
Earlier in his opening remark, the chief executive officer, Africa Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, noted that in majority of African countries, agriculture accounts for over 60 per cent of national economic activities and revenue, yet, the sector gets a disproportionately small amount of media coverage, thereby contributing less than 10 per cent to the national economic and political discourse.

As said by Chinje, recent AMI-sponsored survey of major media markets on the continent established that reporting on the sector remained largely uninformed and was limited to press releases, industry publications, and a growing number of blog posts as well as social media blurbs.

He, therefore, called for improved overall media coverage of the sector on the continent of Africa. 

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Pix: Mr. Craig Hammer

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