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How data could change African newsrooms

Last year, the Quartz Africa team applied for the Innovate Africa fund to take Quartz’s chart-building platform, Atlas, to newsrooms, journalism schools, and other organizations in African countries. We got the grant (hurray!) and will soon be traveling to Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Egypt to hold workshops on how to use Atlas’s open source charts.

Before starting, we wanted to get a feel for what exactly newsrooms and journalists are looking for when it comes to data visualization. We surveyed news organizations on the continent and found two main issues:

1) Reporters want to visualize Africa-focused data sets …

Out of 12 newsrooms that responded to our survey, four said that their journalists regularly use chart building tools, including Excel, Tableau, or Chartbuilder (Quartz’s old chart building platform), Data Wrapper, and Piktochart. More than half of news organizations responding to our survey (58%) said that they didn’t have access to Africa-related charts to use in their work. The rest of respondents said they had access to data visualizations but would like more. Full Story



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