How a private owned media lab is reimagining journalism in Tanzania

By Rodgers George

  • The lab is meant to support the growth of digital and data journalism in the country
  • The space can be rent for a practical journalism training session at affordable prices

Dar es Salaam. For years in Tanzania journalists, journalism students and digital media entrepreneurs have been struggling to get a well-equipped space where they would go to learn emerging digital and data storytelling skills or use them while working on their journalism projects.

This is contrary to their colleagues in the non-media industry who have a couple of innovation hubs to use in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam and some cities and towns including Arusha and Moshi.

To solve the problem, Nukta Africa, a Tanzanian digital media and technology company, is set to launch the first private-owned media lab to help journalists both upcoming and practising build their data and multimedia storytelling skills and produce their projects comfortably.

Nukta Africa, which specialises in training and development of digital and data-driven news stories and tools, through the media lab among other things will offer training to groups and individuals on data journalism, fact-checking, narrative storytelling and multimedia storytelling. The company also owns a Swahili data-driven news site called Nukta Habari (www.nukta.co.tz).

The courses are meant to empower journalists and communicators to maximise the potential of data and digital media especially this time when the media industry is passing under constant digital transformation.

Nukta Africa’s Chief of Training and Business Development, Daniel Mwingira says the lab is able to provide up to 15 trainees 9 out of them with computers with internet access for practical training sessions with additional five facilitators. The equipment, according to him, is meant to help journalists who do not have laptops or personal computers at their home to acquire digital skills.

“We have all the resources one needs to learn. From a quiet environment, powerful computers, smart television and other supportive appliances for anyone who will have access to it. The lab is also located somewhere easily reachable from Makumbuso, even the City Centre and all corners of Dar es Salaam,” says Mwingira.

To help other media stakeholders who provide media training and other non-journalism training that needs equipment, have an opportunity to rent the space at a very affordable rate in a bid to build a skilled workforce in Tanzania.

“The lab can be accessed through stairs and a 24/7 elevator service which is also friendly to anyone, even colleagues with physical challenges,” says Mwingira who adds that all health guidelines such as the provision of sanitisers, social distance and wearing masks are highly considered at the lab.

The lab will not only be used for training but also give room for any individual who desires to learn more about journalism and seeks a supportive place to accomplish that goal. The individuals who are dubbed media lab members will subscribe to membership as a way of ensuring commitment and support for space sustainability.

Why a lab for the media?

Nukta Africa’s Chief Finance & Administration Officer Maphosa Banduka says the media industry needs to be a source of actionable information that would contribute to change and development of the country and that is why Nukta Lab is introduced to equip journalists with the skills that are hard to get in the industry.

“We wish to see journalists publishing and broadcasting news and information that leaves a positive impact while solving various challenges in our society using reliable statistics,” Banduka said.

“For the use of this lab, I urge journalists, students pursuing journalism and mass communications and all communication personnel and stakeholders to see it as a career-changing centre to sharpen and update their skills,” she said.

The media lab is a realisation of Nukta Africa’s five-year plan and generous support from partner organizations including Internews Tanzania which has supported some of the potential training equipment.

For more information about the lab, reach the management via email info@nukta.co.tz or dial +255 677 088 088. You can also reach out via social media on Facebook, Twitter na LinkedIn @Nukta Africa and @nuktaafrica on Instagram.

Nukta Africa is an African digital media and technology company that specialises in training and development of digital and data-driven news stories and tools.