More than 30 applications were received for the third cohort of the African Data Hub (ADH) community journalism fellowship. This third cohort of fellows will be focussing on documenting and reporting about the health challenges emanating from the flood devastation of several parts of Nigeria these past few months.
Community journalism holds the key to bridging the wide gap between Nigeria’s urban and rural areas with news, information, education and development, as most of the issues are underreported by the mainstream media, community journalists often turn the spotlight on them.
This new call seeks reporters who want to report on the health implications as communities struggle to access food, shelter, and health services. It further seeks to amplify how the already crumbling poor health system of local communities has been hugely impacted by climate and environmental disasters, while documenting, collecting data, and connecting the dots on the root causes which have been related to unusual rainfalls, overflowing local rivers and dams, inadequate infrastructure, non-implementation of environmental guidelines, among others.
This fellowship program will support community journalists with grants, capacity development, and tools to produce data-driven and evidence-based reports on the selected theme. These reports will chart insights towards proper resource planning, emergency planning, policy change, effective public service delivery, grassroots development, and improvement of the quality of life. The program will prioritize stories deep-diving into into community health challenges related to climate change, climate disaster, flooding, unusual river, and dam overflow, as they affect local communities and women and girls especially.
The ADH Community Journalism Fellowship (ACJF) is an initiative of Orodata Science whose mission is to continue to democratize data, and knowledge towards solutions that impact the lives of millions.
Applicants can learn a lot from successful applicants and fellows who participated in the first cohort. Here are tips and notes for future applicants.
Jedida Nguyo is delighted that she took a leap of faith and applied for the Africa Data Hub fellowship and was accepted. Jedida has had lots of eye opening experiences and interesting insights about data journalism and credible storytelling. The fellowship has taught Jedida that data is not a monster, it can be challenging but it's not impossible to crack.
Data story topic:Drug use among school children
Lynn found the Africa Data Hub data journalism fellowship to be very insightful, and the experience “was amazing”. ADH has been impactful on her journey as a journalist by adding data and other elements as flavour to what she knew about journalism. She finds herself trying to investigate more and do indepth research so that she can take her publications as a journalist to “a whole new level.”
Data story topic:Postpartum depression
The Africa Data Hub Data journalism fellowship has given John insights into the process and effort that goes into writing good data stories. Through the training and mentorship he has learnt how to utilise data that is made available on different platforms and from different organisations and use it in his writing for credible storytelling.
Data story topic:Gender disparity in utilisation of healthcare services in Kenya
he ADH fellowship has provided Fredrick with the opportunity to develop a data story from scratch through gathering and filtering data, and this has also been made possible by the immense support he received from experienced journalists on the fellowship team. He has come to learn about tools that he can use to filter, sort and present data like Tabular, Flourish and Data Wrapper among others. He has also learnt how to navigate Google easily and use various tools to find specific data or information using the OSINT techniques. He is eager to apply the vast knowledge that I have garnered in my future stories.
Ondari has found the fellowship educational and insightful and eye-opener to the fresh style of telling stories. Ondari has learnt how to sieve through data to make sense out of it in a simplistic and refreshing manner. The training has offered her great insights into data journalism.
Nelvin enjoyed the fellowship because the mentors were attentive and able to answer the questions asked by the fellows. The training has given Nelvin Mulama insights into how to use data effectively and appropriately in storytelling.
Data story topic:Sexual harassment in public service vehicles in Kenya
The Africa Data Hub Data Journalism Fellowship has helped Vincent Nyambane gain experience in data analytics and statistics. He has learnt what it means to extract trends and outliers from a given sample of dataset and use those threads to write an evidence based story.
The Africa Data Hub data journalism fellowship has been an enlightening experience for David. The fellowship has helped change his perspective on a number of issues, especially numbers - which he has always avoided. He has learnt that as a journalist, there is a way he can deconstruct the big or complex numbers and tell a story using simple and succinct language that an ordinary person can understand. He has also learnt how to mine data and optimize his internet experience.
Data story topic:The incessant weakening of the Kenya Shilling
This fellowship has helped Calmax to view storytelling from a different perspective. He has learnt how to source, arrange and present data in an effective way to make his stories more interesting, informative and educational. He has enjoyed the experience on the Africa Data Hub fellowship and learning a lot from his mentor who. He is looking forward to applying what he has learnt from the fellowship to improve his storytelling skills.
Data story topic:The trend of women involvement in Kenya’s workforce
Samwel took part in the Africa Data Hub data journalism fellowship so that he could acquire skills in data journalism since he has never had training on data journalism. He has enjoyed networking with other journalists who are also interested in data journalism. He is now confident with using data as part of research and presenting findings in a way that suits the audience.
Data story topic:Increasing number of street families and children.
Brian enjoyed the fellowship experience with ADH, and interacting with young new minds like himself; and found sharing the different ideas and ideologies great. It was good for him to see that the journalism profession has a future beyond the status quo. The trainers, tooktheir time to ensure that the points of the fellowship are understood by the fellows. He also enjoyed the insightful instances in data that are absolutely new to him.
Obilo has found the insights shared by the trainers and mentors during the ADH data journalism fellowship insightful and educational. She found the fellowship interesting and has learnt much about how data can be used to tell authentic and credible stories, and how data-driven storytelling can be used to drive positive change and impact.
Data story topic:Inflation and its change in priorities
Linda Ngari is grateful for the training on data-driven storytelling that she has received during the fellowship. The hands-on approach that is used by Odipodev during the mentorship period helped Linda produce a detailed and well researched data story.
Data story topic:Is Kenya’s Economic Crisis Worse Than Sri Lanka’s?
Francis has enjoyed the ADH data journalism fellowship and has changed his way of thinking about and towards data and numbers in the field of journalism and storytelling . Through the training and mentorship that he received on the fellowship he has gained confidence and appetite for working with data, and telling data driven stories.
Through the ADH data journalism fellowship Jefferson has learnt how to use data in his storytelling. The training on how to do data-driven journalism on the fellowship was intense and required dedication, he found the insights on how to incorporate data in storytelling informative. The fellowship has opened his eyes to how data can be used as a criteria for evaluating the credibility of a story that is not based on popularity and likes, but is based on evidence.
Elizabeth enjoyed learning about data and data journalism on the ADH fellowship. Through the fellowship she has realised how data can be used as a source of great stories, and give credibility to a data story when used in the right context.
Data story topic:The Challenges Facing Mothers Struggling With Fistula
Sophie had an amazing experience on the ADH data journalism fellowship. She has found the fellowship to be an interesting introduction to data and data journalism. She is eager to learn more about and apply data-driven storytelling tools in the future.
Data story topic:Kenya’s eHealth Sector Research Analysis
Through this fellowship Abigail has learnt the importance of sourcing credible and relevant statistics to support investigative community stories. The fellowship has opened her eyes to how data journalism and indepth research can be an exciting element to storytelling and give a story authenticity. Data can be a powerful tool for amplifying a journalist’s voice.
Data story topic:Safe houses for men undergoing GBV: A pipe dream?
The ADH fellowship experience has exposed Victoria to data visualisation, infographics, and maps in her story telling. Her experience with journalism has mostly been in television and radio broadcast, this is her first in depth community investigation story that she plans to publish using multimedia. She has enjoyed the visualisation support from the Orodata Science team as well as the focus on data as an element of the story telling. She has found the journey exciting.
Data story topic:A tale of open defecation in Calabar* Metropolis
The ADH fellowship has given Tunde unique insights on how to approach stories with data as evidence, and data journalism as a career. The fellowship has “initiated [Tunde] into real data journalism.” He has been exposed to the importance of statistical investigation and data visualisation as an approach to producing evidence based stories. Through the fellowship he has realised the importance and scope of community based journalism, and he plans to tell more community based stories; it has changed his perspective on having to travel far for “big” news stories.
Sodiq has enjoyed exploring the use of data as an anchor for his ADH fellowship story, and has a greater appreciation for multimedia storytelling. The experiences he had on the fellowship drove home the need for community journalism and how community journalism can improve the lived experiences of people living in Nigerian rural communities. His story has been gotten a response from the Ogun State health ministry with plans to improve health facilities in the state’s rural community,
Ngozi has learnt how to do and use data deep-dives in her stories during the ADH fellowship, and it has been an amazing experience she aims to continue after the fellowship. See their prioritisation of underreported communities on this fellowship has been refreshing, the theme of health seem to bee common among the fellowship stories. It is exciting to be a part of amplifying the voices of these communities. Being able to support the voices of the people with data, and get technical support from the team with visualising data is really helpful.
Data story topic:Lack of access to basic amenities in Ibeshe Community
The fellowship has been a great experience for Israel, using a range of visualisation tools (e.g. infographics, maps, charts, etc). Finding data to support a story can be easy if you are familiar with data, but there can be technical challenges in incorporating that data in a story in a meaningful way; the technical support that is available on this fellowship for visual communication has been very helpful. The ADH fellowship has allowed him to pursue a story idea he had because the funding and support is made available for this.
Bukola has enjoyed the freedom to dive into the research and data related to the publication of her data story. Her familiarity with data has allowed her to use data published in the latest WASH Report which she is using to support her story. The data visualisation support from the Orodata Science team has allowed her to focus on researching and writing her data story.
Data story topic:Katampe – A Community where Potable Water is a Scarce Commodity
Through the fellowship, Ann has been able to publish a robust data journalism output using multi-media. Through the fellowship she has been able to explore various aspects of journalism as a whole; it has shown her how data allows a reconciliation between long form content by providing evidence, visual information that isn’t a photo, and text breaks that make written content more consumable. She has realised that multimedia journalism that if data-driven can allow her to explore the boundaries of journalism.
The Community Journalism Fellowship included training sessions before the fellows started their investigation and reporting, Adesola enjoyed the training session facilitated by Orodata Science. The training opened his eyes to a lot of elements a journalist has to look out for in community investigations, with insights on the relevant data sets and how to locate them, and how to interpret a data set in the present context. The resources provided in the fellowship helped him tell this particular story on a large scale. His data story has been published on The Nation, Ripples, and Naija News.
Dishon enjoyed the ADH training fellowship session. He has found the mentorship during the Fellowship beneficial to the development of his data journalism skills. He has acquired data sourcing and data visualisations skills that are essential in successful data storytelling, and has also learnt more about how to access publication channels for his data stories.
Data story topic:Employment opportunities for disabled people in Kenya
Ronald's experience from this fellowship has changed his perspective on journalism. He previously thought journalism was about justice and justice stories and has been surprised to find that it’s deeper than that, he realized data journalism is about telling a story through numbers, in everyday language for people concerned to derive meaning.
Data story topic:Gender Disparities in the Kenyan Labour Market
Karen has experience writing Lifestyle and Entertainment pieces in print and online for The Nation. This Data Journalism Fellowship has given her the opportunity to share the stories of people living with Fibromyalgia and how they cope with everyday life. Karen aims to publish in print and digital using photographs to tell this story.
Data story topic:The experience of people living with Fibromyalgia
Edith has learnt a lot from the ADH Fellowship experience. Her close interactions with her mentor have given her insights into data journalism.
Data story topic:Gender Based Violence
Discovering the value that data can contribute to a story has given Trevor fresh enthusiasm for the work he does. As an intern at KBC Trevor was able to pitch this data story with the broadcaster and hopes to tell a positive story about how Kenyan policies and programmes have been effective in controlling Malaria in Kenya.
Data story topic:Malaria as an Epidemic in Kenya
This fellowship gave Henix the opportunity to examine the implementation of the two-thirds gender rule of law in Kenya. He became aware that women leaders continue to face numerous challenges while rising through positions of leadership. Henix works with a Community Radio station: Pamoja FM - the voice of Kibera (a large informal settlement in the heart of Nairobi). Finding and analysing data related to this topic has helped him tell this story while still being sensitive to the lived experience of this community. Patriarchy is still a challenge facing this society.
Data story topic:The Two-Thirds Gender Rule Farce
In this fellowship, Derick has learnt that data journalism is not a thing of the future; it is now. He has discovered how incorporating data in his storytelling can really improve the quality of journalism he produces.
Data story topic:Maternal health care in Kenya
From my studies, journalism has been about storytelling and meeting deadlines, but I have discovered that data is an important part of telling credible stories
Data story topic:Postpartum Depression in Fathers
Through ADH Rosemary has learnt the importance of Data analysis and Data visualisation in Journalism. The trainers introduced her to the world of breaking down the hard concept of data into simple language, from sourcing, verification transfer, analysis and use of visuals, the practical part of the training with our coaches was well articulated as they moved step by step through the training. She has realised that data is no longer a luxury but a necessity while telling stories and as we move into a data world, Journalists should not be left behind.
Data story topic:Access to contraceptives in Kenya during the pandemic
The fellowship has provided Winny with the opportunity to get hands-on experience producing a data story with support and assistance from experienced data journalists. She has enjoyed learning about Tabular and actually using it to sort and analyse data for her story.
Data story topic:Nutritional health and overnutrition among children in Kenya