3 tools transforming journalism - a conversation with John
January 9, 2024
Explore journalism's future with John Eromosele's insights from AIJC. Discover tools like Sentinel Satellite Imagery, Whova App, and NASA's Mapping Tool, reshaping storytelling.

In an exclusive interview, Michelle (Open Cities Lab Communications Lead) sat down with John Eromosele who is the Business Development and Operations Lead at Orodata Science, one of Africa Data Hub’s key partners. John is a seasoned Civic Technologist with almost a decade of experience in the journalism and civic-tech space. He attended and led a session at the African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) in November 2023. In this interview, John shares his insights into three groundbreaking tools that he discovered at the conference, tools that are poised to redefine the way journalists approach reporting and storytelling.

Michelle (M): John, first up, can you tell us why attending conferences like AIJC is worthwhile for journalists?

John (J): Absolutely. AIJC is one of the largest gatherings of professional journalists in Africa and civic technologists, making it a unique platform for networking. Having been in journalism for nearly 10 years, I found the conference to be a rare opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals and gain a regional perspective on the happenings across the continent. It's not just about learning best practices; it's a chance to collaborate, showcase our work, and break down silos between organisations and regions.

M: That sounds fascinating. Now, let's dive into the tools you discovered. The Sentinel Satellite Imagery Tool – what caught your attention?

J: The Sentinel Satellite Imagery Tool is remarkable. I had heard about it, but witnessing its implementation at AIJC was a game-changer. The ability to access high-quality satellite imagery in real-time opens up new dimensions for visual storytelling. The platform provides easy access to browse, visualise, and analyse Sentinel, Landsat, and other Earth observation imagery which will add a rich dimension to your stories. I encourage you to try it!

M: Moving on to the Whova App – what made it stand out for you?

J: Initially, I was hesitant about using the Whova App, but AIJC compelled me to give it a try, and I'm glad it did. It was the app chosen to manage and engage with the whole conference and it was eye-opening to experience its usability during the AIJC conference. The app seamlessly connected attendees, speakers, and participants in real-time. It extended the reach of the conference, making it more inclusive and accessible. Whova revolutionised the way I see events being conducted, blending in-person and digital interactions. The app allowed for effective networking, real-time communication, and even tracked the most attended events, like my session, which turned out to be one of the highlights of AIJC.

M: Impressive! And the third tool, NASA's Mapping Tool for Fire Tracking – how do you see this impacting journalism?

J: The NASA Mapping Tool for Fire Tracking is a gem. It provides historical map data, something that is usually hard to come by. For journalists, especially as a trainer I have learned that having access to free and reliable information for tracking fires globally is invaluable. It allows us to analyse trends over time and weave more impactful stories. This tool will undoubtedly become a staple in my training programmes.

When we reflect, John's insights into these three tools shed light on the transformative potential technology holds for journalism. From enhancing visual storytelling with satellite imagery to revolutionising conference engagement through apps like Whova, and leveraging NASA's mapping tool for comprehensive storytelling – these tools are ushering in a new era of connected, collaborative, and informed journalism. Are you using them already? Tell us your thoughts! If you have any questions for John or the Africa Data Hub team on these tools, get in touch with us via info@africadatahub.org 

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