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09.04.2015 Social News

'Code for Ghana' selects three media houses for project

By GNA
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Accra, April 9, GNA - Three media houses, namely the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Graphic Communications Group, and Citi fm have been selected for the 'Code for Ghana' project whose aim is to bring innovation into the newsrooms of those media houses.

'We intend to do this by embedding highly qualified professionals in software development, data analysis, User Experience and User Interface designers in the newsrooms of the selected media houses stated above', said a release signed by Florence Toffa, the Project Manager of Code for Ghana, and copied to the Ghana News Agency.  

It said the 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 which will serve as avenues that will 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', the release explained, adding that 'this has necessitated the addition of data analysts to our team of professionals who will help simplify and represent the data in more understandable forms such as graphs, pie charts, and maps to give the reader a certain level of understanding of what it is all about.'

The release said Mobile phone applications or online portals could be developed solely to make the information accessible to the general public, and explained further that the collaboration between the software developers and the selected media houses will produce a sustained interest in data-driven journalism.

According to the Project Manager, 'This is what we yearn to achieve; this project is intended to deepen the democratic atmosphere we are already enjoying as a people.

'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.'

The release indicated that the task ahead required a lot of brainstorming and cooperation from all the parties involved and urged the stakeholders in the project to join hands in the effort to establish data-driven journalism in the country's media landscape.  

Code for Ghana is part of the Code for Africa initiative which aims to use open data and technology to promote responsive, innovative and effective governance.

It follows in the tradition of Code for Kenya and Code for South Africa by embedding software developers and data fellows in media organisations for a period of six months. During this period, the Data Fellows and Developers are expected to work with their host organisations on open data projects.

GNA

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