Google partners UNESCO to boost digital journalism in Africa


Search giant, Google, has launched the Global Initiative for Excellence in Journalism Education to enhance practitioners’ training in Africa.

The announcement was made during the inaugural Google News Initiative (GNI) for Africa virtual event that began on October 25 and ends tomorrow. The project to boost journalism education programmes would be rolled out over the next 18 months and is being implemented in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at no fewer than 100 institutions across Africa.

Interested candidates in the daily 45-minute session can participate via
President for EMEA Business and Operations, Google, Matt Brittin, said: “The (COVID-19) 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 UN agency is deploying its network of established journalism schools to launch the collaborative programme that would enable journalists to better respond to the major changes in the profession and publishing in recent times.

Director for Policies and Strategies regarding Communication and Information at UNESCO, Guy Berger, noted: “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 virtual event is providing a platform for journalists, publishers and content creators on the continent to find out more about Google’s training programmes for journalists and news professionals.

The gathering brings together experts from Google and the industry to share tools, training and best practices, from understanding 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. Google has held two successful innovation challenges where it supported 43 GNI projects in 18 nations.

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