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Open data and the future of news

Twaweza attended the Tanzania Media Leaders’ Roundtable on Open Data and the Future of News.
The roundtable was hosted by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, the World Bank Institute and the African Media Initiative, in association with the Tanzania Media Fund, Google and the Dar Tekinohama Business Incubator.

The aim of the session was to seek high-level buy in for data driven journalism in Tanzania. Although the focus was on print media outlets, a number of broadcasters were represented as well.

George Mulamula introduced the path of the open data agenda in Tanzania. Tanzania’s commitment to the Open Government Partnership means that government data on a range of sectors and subjects will become more freely and easily available moving forward. He urged the media to see this as an important opportunity.

Justin Arenstein, representing Google and the African Media Initiative, presented the business case for data driven journalism. He highlighted the potential income opportunities from the wealth of data that media outlets held already and outlined a number of low-cost ways in which this could be made more accessible and engaging for the public and other potential consumers.

Participants were able to discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing models of information consumption, new availability of data and Tanzania’s commitment to open government.

Following this session, a number of Tanzanian journalists will participate in a data bootcamp in which they will be provided with basic data literacy skills and introduced to the wealth of already existing data sources that they could use to inform their reporting.

Twaweza will be presenting the Tanzania Budget Explorer at the bootcamp.

Read more: media open data open government Open Government Partnership

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