#HHDar: storytelling with easy infographics
Journalists learnt how to use simple tools to create infographics for compelling stories at the January Hack/Hackers Dar es Salaam meet-up.
By Zahara Tunda
News outlets in Tanzania don’t often produce data-driven stories or make use of infographics. Community-led meet-ups like Hacks/Hackers are therefore important for sharing skills and new tools to help local journalists produce better data-driven and multimedia stories that impact the community.
The first 2019 #HHDAR meet-up was an energetic, interactive training session. The facilitator, Sakina Salem a freelance graphic designer, taught the community members the basics of data visualisation. The participants also learnt how to create easy but effective infographics using Microsoft PowerPoint.
Although attendants were impressed by the creative process, they seemed more interested in knowing just how these tools are applicable in newsrooms and how journalists can use them in their stories.
“It’s a fantastic tool but I’m curious about the accuracy of the data it presents, especially in visuals that use ready-made shapes to create animated pie charts. Won’t this result in a misrepresentation of data?” asked Nuzulack Dausen.
Salem eased doubts by explaining that the information you input is what is displayed. If the information loaded is accurate, then the infographic should be accurate too.
Participants seem to have enjoyed the session and many requested for the presentation to be shared so they can learn on their own.
Want to learn how to use PowerPoint for easy infographics? Have a go at our training material.
About the Author
Zahara Tunda is an Innovation and Social Affairs writer at Nukta Africa.
The worlds of hackers and journalists are coming together, as reporting goes digital and Internet companies become media empires.
Journalists call themselves “hacks,” someone who can churn out words in any situation. Hackers use the digital equivalent of duct tape to whip out code.
Hacker-journalists try and bridge the two worlds. Hacks/Hackers Africa aims to bring all these people together — those who are working to help people make sense of our world. It’s for hackers exploring technologies to filter and visualize information, and for journalists who use technology to find and tell stories. In the age of information overload and collapse of traditional business models for legacy media, their work has become even more crucial.
Code for Africa, the continent’s largest #OpenData and civic technology initiative, recognizes this and is spearheading the establishment of a network of HacksHackers chapters across Africa to help bring together pioneers for collaborative projects and new ventures.