Do you want to help newsrooms in Kenya or South Africa build pioneering data journalism projects?

The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) seeks two outstanding applicants to spearhead its Code for Africa (CfAfrica) data journalism initiative in Kenya and South Africa. The successful applicant will be appointed as an ICFJ Knight Fellow, working as part of a larger pan-African ICFJ team, as well as with local CfAfrica affiliate data journalists and technologists embedded into partner newsrooms and local CitizenLabs.

The successful candidate will help these teams harness data to build compelling journalistic projects, using strong mobile and interactive web components. The goal is to catalyze the media to deliver ongoing, high-quality news that helps spark systemic change around ‘bread and butter’ issues such as health. Audience engagement will be a crucial measure of success.

As an ICFJ Knight Fellow, you will help forge partnerships with local newsrooms, will recruit technologists and data journalists to embed into partner media, and will then help partners build pilot projects. You will also help grow local Hacks/Hackers communities, and will help facilitate data literacy and digital journalism skills initiatives. 

You will receive support from two Senior ICFJ Knight Fellows, who work as a pan-African data editor and digital strategist for the initiative, as well as from your local CfAfrica technical team of coders, data wranglers, and designers. In addition, you will also be able to tap into CfAfrica’s work elsewhere on the continent, including its CitizenLabs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Candidates for both positions will be media industry veterans, ideally with experience of managing data journalism teams and with a track-record for building digital news projects that have enjoyed significant audience engagement. You should have a critical understanding of CfAfrica’s existing tools / approaches, and should be a passionate advocate for how these approaches can strengthen news gathering. An operations whiz, you will connect with journalists and media managers through events, regular newsroom visits, online training, and more. A teacher and communicator at heart, you will think deeply about methodology and curriculum. You will understand how to scale efforts and provide ongoing support. At the same time, you will be a champion for the needs of the media, and an advocate for creating tools that can further enable digital reporting. You will be a team player who loves working on a purpose-driven team that operates with high creativity and velocity. 

Responsibilities:

  • Supervise in-country teams of data journalists and news technologists in either Kenya or South Africa, ensuring their projects consistently achieve their deliverables within set timelines.
  • Manage a network of local media partners, ensuring that partners avail appropriate resources and support for our projects.
  • Analytics / metrics
  • Build shared resources, include open data and open source code, that partner newsrooms can re-use. This will include ensuring that all data / code is properly documented and licensed.
  • Conduct regular “CfAfrica 101s” in newsrooms and at other partners, teaching journalists and news technologists how to use CfAfrica tools and resources.
  • Hold community events that bring together journalists to collaborate together around new technologies for storytelling.
  • Develop on-going relationships with journalists who are using CfAfrica tools, encouraging and evolving their development over time
  • Bring an entrepreneurial spirit to work everyday, conceiving of new opportunities and avenues to help the media grow

Preferred qualifications:

  • Significant experience working as a senior journalist or in a leadership position the media industry
  • Experience in the Global South, especially Sub-Saharan Africa
  • A deep knowledge of and passion for technology, and a strong track record using technology to tell stories to audiences
  • Excellent leadership and management skills
  • Ability to manage several concurrent projects with timely deliverables
  • Ability to work effectively in a team
  • Fluency in English; proficiency in other languages spoken in the target countries is a plus
  • Excellent public speaking and interpersonal skills

ICFJ Knight Fellows may hail from any country, but will be based in either Kenya or South Africa for their fellowship. The duration of the fellowship is one year, with the possibility of extension for up to two more years. 

If you are interested in being a candidate, please apply here: http://bit.ly/CfAfellowship.

You can direct any questions to: Kyle Thompson at [email protected] or +1.202.349.7610.

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About ICFJ’s Knight Fellowships:

The ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellowships are designed to instill a culture of news innovation and experimentation worldwide. The goal is to seed new ideas and services that deepen coverage, expand news delivery and engage citizens in the editorial process. The program is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Fellows build on past successes in the Knight program, which has a strong record of achieving impact. They work in countries where there is a good opportunity to create the news media of the future. With additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Knight Fellows are empowering journalists in sub-Saharan Africa to use the latest digital tools to tell compelling stories on health and development issues.

About Code for Africa:

Code for Africa is the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism initiative. It seeks to instill a culture of civic innovation and digital experimentation in newsrooms and other civic watchdogs. It also incubates investigative and citizen journalism initiatives, using its networks to work with partners in the media, civil society, the private sector and governments. The goal is to seed new ideas and technologies that deepen public accountability, civic transparency and citizen engagement. It is funded by a basket of international donors, the World Bank, various regional Open Society Foundations, and a variety of smaller donors. While Code for Africa focuses its work on the continent, it regularly collaborates with like-minded initiatives across Asia, Europe and Latin America. You join the CfAfrica community here. 

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