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Ghanaian Journalists #HackAgainstEbola

According to a recent World Health Organisation statement, the West African sub region could record 10,000 new cases of Ebola a week by Christmas if the epidemic is not handled properly.

To ensure journalists are well equipped to effectively cover the epidemic, the Global Editors Network (GEN) in collaboration with Penplusbytes is organizing a two-day competition on the 19 to 20 November 2014 at the Penplusbytes’ New Media Hub for journalists, web developers and designers.

This Editors Lab is being organised in partnership with OSIWA and supported by Internet Solutions – Ghana, Dalex Finance & Leasing, Google and BBC. It is part of a series of international hackdays hosted by world-renowned media organizations, in New York (The New York Times), London (The Guardian), Madrid (El Pais), Buenos Aires (Clarin), Paris (Le Parisien), and many more.

This edition of the Editors Lab will be very specific, as it is focused on Ebola and renamed #HackAgainstEbola. This is a first of three Editors Lab focused on that theme. The next one will be in Lagos, and the last one in Dakar.

According to GEN’s programme manager Evangeline de Bourgoing, “Epidemics create panic, irrational information, dangerous rumors and uncertified facts, which can all generate chaos. Ebola has not yet been neutralized and could continue to spread throughout Western Africa as well as other continents. Journalists must be prepared to fight all collateral damage associated with Ebola. Unfortunately journalists on the ground don’t have the necessary resources and tools that match the responsibility they have to inform local communities.”

The Editors Lab is trying to foster an environment to create those needed tools. The teams, composed of one journalist, one designer, and one developer, will work to build a prototype in 48 hours. The participating teams are: Citi, Graphic Communications, Times, Daily Guide, GNA, MultiMedia, BFT, NAFTI, STARR, GBC.

According to Jerry Sam, Projects Director at Penplusbytes, “The participants will benefit from two workshops, given by: – The UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. This workshop will provide the participants with background info about Ebola (infection and transmission, signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment and preventive measures). It will help the participants better cover Ebola and debunk the rumors.

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) will provide the teams with tools to hack faster and better.

The team with the best project, will be chosen by our Jury:
–    Edward Tagoe (
–    Joe Jackson (Dalex Finance and Leasing Limited)
–    Evangéline de Bourgoing (Global Editors Network)
The winning team will compete against the other winning Editors Lab teams during the Editors Lab Final, the World Cup of Newsroom Innovation. This final stage of the Editors Lab international tournament will occur during the GEN Summit in Barcelona next June.