Google has launched the “Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education” to support the training and education of journalists in over 100 journalism institutions in Africa.
The announcement was made during the inaugural Google News Initiative (GNI) for Africa virtual event which kicked off on Monday 25 October 2021, and will run till Friday 29th October 2021.
Talking about the program, Matt Brittin, President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Business and Operations, Google said: “The pandemic has changed the way people interact with news and accelerated that shift to digital. There has never been a time when access to good quality journalism has been more important. This programme will seek to establish, define, and implement the local definitions of excellence in journalism. We will work with the 100 different journalism schools targeting to benefit over 4,000 journalists.”
The initiative, which is aimed at updating journalism education programmes, will be rolled out over the next 18 months and will be implemented in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The agency will use its networks of established journalism schools to launch the collaborative programme that will enable journalists to better respond to the major changes in journalism and publishing in recent times.
Highlighting UNESCO’s role in the partnership, Guy Berger, Director of Strategies and Policies, Communication and Information at UNESCO said: “At UNESCO, we have very different countries as members, with different approaches to journalism – but the one thing that at least they all agree on is that journalists should be well-trained.”
The week-long virtual event will create an avenue for journalists, publishers, and content creators in Africa to discover more about Google’s training programmes for journalists and news business professionals, including how small and medium-sized news organisations can grow their digital business, to how to use consumer insights and data to better understand reader preferences and increase profitability and engagement.
Matt Britton mentioned that Google has held two successful Innovation Challenges where Google supported 43 GNI projects in 18 countries. Google is now furthering its efforts and increasing its investment in support of journalism in Africa. In addition, reporters and journalists will be helped to make good use of Google’s News Lab Fellowship which connects up-and-coming reporters with nonprofit journalism organizations that use data and technology to report the news in different and interesting ways.