The Google NewsLab has partnered Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on digital fundamentals as well as news verification modules, entitled, “Fundamentals and Verification for News.” the 4 hours daily training, expected to sharpen the reporting skills of 600 practicing journalists in Lagos state, would be in batches of 150 journalists for each session, as a result of Covid 19 protocols.
This all-important media training would span from September 30 to October 28, with journalists drawn from print and electronic media.
According to the schedule, the training would include an advanced deep dive into search and image research tools, as well as fact-checking and verification, all geared towards enhancing better understanding on the use of Google digital tools for research and reporting.
In a press statement signed by the Chairman of the Council, Comrade Adeleye Ajayi and the Secretary, Comrade Tunde Olalere, the train would help to sharpen the skills of journalists in factual reporting as well as update their knowledge as news professional.
“My sincere gratitude goes to Google NewsLab for this laudable and giant initiative, aimed at improving the skills of journalists not only in Nigeria and Africa, but globally,” Ajayi stated.
But beyond this, Ajayi also noted that the training would equally sharpen the skills required in contemporary journalism while including in-depth discussions on variety of digital topics such as online search methods, analyzing search trends, news verification as well as image search.
For Nigerian journalists, such opportunity in digital technology would present compelling new opportunities to verify and report factual stories using digital tools, hence lack of digital technology has become very challenging to modern day reporting.
According to the Training Manager, Google NewsLab, Mr. Vincent Ryan, the NewsLab training is an open initiative created, especially for media professionals to create and distribute excellent and quality news.
The curriculum, he said was designed to teach aspiring and experienced media workers about the digital trends that are changing journalism profession across the globe, as well as how to utilize new online and digital technologies to enhance productivity in their newsrooms.
This is, as Google has reiterated its commitment to supporting the growth of the news industry in Africa through various initiatives, including a Data Journalism training held in 2017, which benefitted over 6,000 journalists and publishers across the region.
Also, in 2020, Google announced a $300m commitment as part of its news initiative geared towards assisting local publishers across the world to deal with the consequences of COVID-19,
Same in July this year, where three Nigerian publishers were named among the 22 winners of the Google News Initiative’s second Middle East, Turkey, and Africa Innovation Challenge, which provided $2.1m in funds to support projects in the regions
“Google considers the media in Nigeria as critical partners in the role they play in providing high-quality and relevant information. Supporting the growth of Nigerian news publishers will invariably enable the media industry in the region to take advantage of the opportunities that the internet and digital storytelling present.”, Ryan added.