The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Google, in partnership with the World Bank Institute, delivered a full day bootcamp in Tunis on Tuesday to 30 journalists from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco on web tools for better newsgathering and reporting across cultures.
The 1-day workshop was underwritten by Google and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and led by an international team of experts from Google and the World Bank Institute, in association with the African Media Initiative among other partners. The workshop was held at the Institute of Press and Information Sciences, in Tunis, which benefited from a similar training conducted by Googlers for its master’s students the next day. Given the recent events in Tunisia and the active role of bloggers, Tunisia appeared as a natural place to train young professionals on better reporting across cultures and on the web.
“We recognize that the Internet is playing an increasingly significant role for the media in North Africa as a powerful mechanism for information sharing,” added Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications for Google in the Middle East and North Africa. “By empowering participants to use powerful forensic tools to find, extract, and analyse public data, they are able to tell better informed stories.”
Participants also shared cross-cultural insights and experiences, to improve regional cohesion on shared data-driven priorities.
Among the participants were journalists from new blogs that emerged after the Tunisian revolution, such as Nawaat, journalists and editors from small to large print, online and broadcast media from all three countries, all eager to learn how to better use online tools.
“This training combined both a skill learning experience on sophisticated web tools in a region where youth and medias have recently played a crucial role, along with a cross cultural component by bringing journalists from different countries and backgrounds to better understand each other and, eventually, better report across cultures”, said UNAOC director Marc Scheuer.
Follow up meetings and local chapters will be organized in the course of the coming months in each country and across the region, to maintain engagement of the participants and sustainability of the process.
More information can be found at: https://sites.google.com/site/databootcamptunisia/home-1
Google: Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications for Google in the Middle East and North Africa firstname.lastname@example.org
UNAOC: Stephanie Durand, strategic media partnerships manager
Google is eager to see journalism flourish in the digital age, in all forms and on all continents. In Africa, we’ve partnered on a series of projects to spur innovation in African journalism, working with newsrooms across the continent to show journalists how the Internet can help them be better reporters – whether it’s doing advanced search and analysis for investigative stories or incorporating great data-based visuals and citizen voices into their reporting. As media organizations continue to adapt to the new digital world, we’re committed to working with journalists to help them use technologies to gather and tell important stories. More information can be found on the Google Arabia site.
About the UNAOC
The UNAOC is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General that aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions, and to help counter forces that fuel polarization and extremism. The UNAOC’s Media Program is driven by the philosophy that media have a major role to play in improving public understanding across boundaries, be they ethnic, religious, or otherwise. The Media Program strives to provide greater resources and training opportunities for media professionals around the world with aim of improving coverage and analysis of cross-cultural conflicts and tensions.