Penplusbytes & EIB Network Lead in Elections Reporting Using Data Journalism
Using innovative new digital technologies, Penplusbytes in partnership with EIB Network with support from USA Embassy in Ghana is implementing the “Voter’s Count – amplifying voices through new digital platforms” project.
The project is designed to keep citizens informed and engaged on political campaign issues to enable them make informed decisions at the polls while strengthening Ghana’s credentials as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region.
As part of the project activities, Penplusbytes and EIB will for the first time deliver two sets of trainings for 30 selected journalists from across the country on using data journalism to effectively report on Ghana’s elections.
The first training is scheduled from Thursday October 6 to 8, 2016 in Kumasi and will involve 15 journalists from the northern belt of country.
According to Eyram Bashan, Group Managing Editor of EIB Network, this interactive training workshop is designed to particularly strengthen the skills and help leverage the knowledge and experience of these journalists for improved issues coverage of Ghana’s 2016 general elections. “The course will provide practical skills in how they can tell data driven stories using data analysis, data cleaning, data organization, data visualization and infographics,” she said.
The project will also deploy innovative new digital tools hosted under Penplusbytes’ African Elections platform mashed up with radio and television programmes to ensure that every vote counts towards the final outcome of the elections. This would involve the review of political parties’ manifestos to produce a comparative tabulation of policies, promises and costings which would be shared via online platforms including social media, WhatsApp and SMS. This will be done with the aim of improving access to electoral information, creating space for citizen’s dialogue and promoting issue based approach to elections campaign during Ghana’s 2016 elections.
According to Kwami Ahiabenu, II the executive director of Penplusbytes, “using the building blocks of training journalists in the use of data journalism, fact checking service and the ‘Ghana Elections Record’ platform, the project is expected to contribute significantly to the success of Ghana elections 2016, by having a media focused on issues, a well-informed electorates who will participate in issues based campaigning while at the same time promoting informed analysis of campaign issues and debates through the generation of data driven stories”
“This project reinforces Penplusbytes’ leadership in promoting effective governance using technology in Africa and beyond,” he added.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.
EIB Network continues to stand out as Ghana’s emerging star in media excellence. The network is led by a team of seasoned and competent managers who have helped in diverse ways to establish most of Ghana’s competitive media brands. A relatively new entrant in Ghana’s media landscape, EIB Network’s ambitious corporate drive is the reason for its phenomenal growth over a relatively short period. The network serves both English and twi-speaking demographics across its seven radio stations, two television stations and a newspaper.