Journalists, technologists and civic engagement enthusiasts yesterday ended the monthly Hacks and Hackers boot camp at iDT Labs, in Freetown. The topic of this month’s engagement is “Moving into the Horizons of Inclusive Reporting with Open Data: How can we Leverage on Emerging Technology?”
iDT Labs lead facilitator, Avril Pratt, explained that Journalists sometimes call themselves “hacks,” a tongue-in-cheek term for someone who can churn out words in any situation. Hackers use the digital equivalent of duct tape to whip out code.
“Hacks/Hackers tries to bridge those two worlds. It’s for hackers exploring technologies to filter, visualize and distribute information in a narrative way, and for hacks who use technology to find and tell stories. Hacks/Hackers is a digital community of people who seek to inspire each other, share information (and code) and collaborate to invent the future of media and journalism.”
“Hacks/Hackers Sierra Leone seeks to bring all these people together — so that we can all be more effective in making sense of issues affecting our community. Our aim is to help members find inspiration and think in new directions, bringing together potential collaborators for projects and new ventures,” Avril averred.
Media representative, Theodore, said he is glad to be part of the Hack/ Hackers monthly meet. In this month’s session I have learned lots on how to use online tools that would help me to do better research which would subsequently enrich my research.
Some of the students from FBC and Limkokwing also noted that the training was an eye opener. This skills we’ve learned will definitely helped us in our academic work, one of them commented.
The Hacks/Hackers Sierra Leone is part of the wider global movement, but our African chapters differ from those in the US or elsewhere in a number of fundamental ways – primarily because the African chapters have adopted a more formal management model at chapter level, coupled with a formal continental umbrella network, to ensure good governance and to help secure the funding and resources that we need to be effective.
Another way that Hacks/Hackers Africa differs from the wider global movement is that the African rollout of chapters is spearheaded by a single catalyst organisation, Code for Africa, with additional funding and material support from an alliance of other media development agencies.
By Ophaniel Gooding
Thursday February 01, 2018.