EJC recently implemented consecutive journalism training workshops in Kenya 14 - 18 July that highlighted the added value of using data in stories production. With so much information being put online by the Kenyan government and newly constituted counties, journalists can often be overwhelmed by how to access, interpret, verify and finally visualize data in order to strengthen their stories. Currently, there are very few examples, even in major Kenyan print media, of journalists regularly using data to enhance their stories.
Hivos Kenya Media Programme
In partnership with the Kenya Media Programme of Hivos, EJC sought to tackle this issue through a three day workshop in Machakos County outside of Nairobi 14 - 16 July. Working with veteran EJC trainer, Peter Verweij of D3-Media the nine Kenyan journalists, who a month earlier attended a purely technical training on data, were guided and coached to produce actual story outputs using tools they had learned on locating, scraping and analyzing proper data sets. The journalists—representing major media institutions such as The Nation, The Standard and KBC and also smaller regional outlets such as The Kilifian and Maata Radio from the Kenyan coast—focused their reportages on pressing development topics and often those at the regional/county levels: cattle rustling impacts on educational outcomes, county government budgets oversight, and health issues such as the correlation between male circumcision and HIV infection rates.
EJC also partnered with AfricaonAir (AoA) on a practical training in Nairobi later that week titled “Reporting on County Development News”. Led by AoA Director Joseph Warungu, local trainer Caleb Atemi and EJC’s Peter Verweij, the three day program targeted print correspondents from usually under-represented regional Kenyan cities such as Laikipia, Makueni, Bomet, Busia, Migori, Taita, Transmara and Kericho. Participants were introduced to development journalism reporting in the context of covering county government. The workshop also included a full day led by Verweij, who provided the group with basic data journalism skills building. EJC’s work with AoA is part of our five year programming through the Press Freedom 2.0 consortium supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.