How we help journalists realise their career dreams in Tanzania

By Daniel Mwingira

In 2020 Nukta Africa through its flagship training program had a lot to celebrate despite the Covid-19 impact on our lives and businesses across the globe. We continued to take huge steps in helping journalists to realise their journalism and communication careers by filling in gaps in different emerging media skills.

In our training programs, journalists are trained and mentored on data journalism, narratives storytelling, fact checking, multimedia storytelling and specialised reporting such as renewable energy journalism. The training and mentorship programs have been one of our key activities at Nukta Africa since 2018 with a mission to help journalists and communication professionals maximise the potential of data and digital storytelling.

A visit of US Embassy officials in at Nukta media Lab. Photo | Nukta Africa

For the last three years, we have managed to train 474 journalists out of 1,000 applicants including journalism students. In 2020 alone we managed to train 143 journalists, communication officers and digital media managers, the highest number of people we ever trained in a year.

The training not only added them with new skills but helped them increase efficiency at work, helping to build the national economy of those trained by our experienced trainers, some won prestigious excellence in journalism awards from the Media Council of Tanzania.

Mr Halili Letea, a reporter from Mwananchi Communication Ltd, emerged the overall winner in the Excellence in Journalism Awards in Tanzania (EJAT) 2019 after winning three awards in the ceremony which was held in September 2020.

Another EJAT winner was Yohana Gwangway from Radio Saut who also attended our data journalism training III which was conducted by Nukta Afrca in collaboration with Internews Tanzania under the Boresha Habari Project funded by USAID in 2019.

Though we celebrate these milestones, our aim is not helping journalists win awards but rather on producing high quality stories that help the audience make rational decisions and improve their lives.

At Nukta Africa we are deeply committed to ensuring Tanzanian journalists and media institutions compete in the global market by training and mentoring them through up-to-date designed programs on narrative and impactful storytelling, fact checking, data journalism, data visualisation and advocacy storytelling for impact.

This mission cannot be achieved without collaboration with other stakeholders who we share the common goal. Most of the training sessions we did in 2020 were the outcomes of partnership with Internews Tanzania, Hivos East Africa, Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), Tanzania Media Foundation and Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC).

Internews Tanzania, for example, has been a bold and supportive partner with Nukta Africa since 2018 mainly on data journalism and fact checking. In early 2020 we managed to conduct for the first time a fact checking training to 10 editors from various media houses in Dar es Salaam to help increase gatekeeping due to ever increasing misinformation from online sources.

Though we celebrate these milestones, our aim is not helping journalists win awards but rather on producing high quality stories that help help the audience make rational decisions and improve their lives. Photo | Gift Mijoe

In a bid to contribute to local, national and international efforts to address the challenges posed by information disorder, at the end of the year welcome a new partners Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF) and DW Akademie under TMF & Makini Lab Fact-checking Programme where we conducted training to 10 journalists from across the country.

To ensure we continue with our mission of imparting emerging data and digital storytelling skills in Tanzania, we continued to adopt various technologies in training and mentorship where trainees were able to learn smoothly online including doing all practical sessions.

The above achievements continue to give us strength in 2021. We will ensure we stick to our mission of training more journalists and provide support to all our past trainees and media houses partners to be ahead of others in the market.

We aim at ensuring that they are being competitive in the world market by creating quality content and earn more revenues that will keep them afloat in the news business.

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.