Google, UNESCO to support 100 journalism institutions in Africa
Google has launched the ‘Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education’ to enhance journalists’ training in 100 journalism institutions in Africa.
Matt Brittin, President for EMEA Business and Operations, Google, made this known at the ongoing inaugural Google News Initiative (GNI) for Africa virtual event.
The GNI for Africa virtual events were slated for October 25 to 29.
Mr Brittin said the initiative to support journalism training would be rolled out over the next 18 months and implemented in partnership with UNESCO.
He also disclosed that the journalism training would update journalism education programmes in over 100 journalism institutions in Africa.
“The pandemic has changed the way people interact with news and accelerated that shift to digital. ’There has never been a time when access to good quality journalism has been more important; this programme will seek to establish, define, and implement the local definitions of excellence in journalism,” Mr Brittin explained. ‘’We will work with the 100 different journalism schools targeting to benefit over 4,000 journalists.”
According to him, Google is increasing its investment in and support of journalism in Africa, including a News Lab teaching fellow who provides locally relevant training for journalists in Southern Africa.
The GNI event is expected to bring together experts from Google and the industry to share tools, training and best practices.
He said it would be from understanding how small and medium-sized news organisations could grow their digital business to using consumer insights and data to understand reader preferences better and increase profitability and engagement.
According to him, Google has held two ‘Innovation Challenges’ where Google supported 43 GNI projects in 18 countries.
Guy Berger, Director, Strategies and Policies, Communication and Information, UNESCO, said UNESCO would use its networks of established journalism schools to launch the collaborative programme.
Mr Berger noted that the collaborative programme would enable journalists to better respond to the major changes in journalism and publishing in recent times.
”At UNESCO, we have very different countries as members, with different approaches to journalism – but the one thing that at least they all agree on is that journalists should be well-trained,” he said.
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