Google Nigeria on Friday, January 16th, 2015 tasked the media on the use of modern data tools for effective reportage, especially of the forthcoming February general elections in the country.
I was privileged to be a part of the about 100 journalists, social media personnel and bloggers that were trained. It was an insightful training.
Mr Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, GoogleÔÇÖs Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone, West Africa, made the appeal at the Google Data Tools for Elections Reporting Workshop held in Lagos.
He said there were various useful tools such as Google Advance Search, Google Trends, Social Media Streams, Google Alert and Tabula which could be used in sourcing data.
Kola-Ogunlade said the tools would help the media to get the picture of what was happening at a particular time at different places and getting it to the public.
The manager said that these tools had actually eased off the challenges of manpower, expensive time and technical skills which were experienced by media houses.
ÔÇ£These tools can be used to monitor trends about elections in real time, whereby impressions about candidates and even the party are seen.
ÔÇ£With the tools, you can come out with creative visualisation that helps you to communicate your news to the public,ÔÇÖÔÇÖ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Google for election workshop was a hands-on certificate program focused on using social media tools, visualisation and citizen reporting tools in ÔÇ£unearthingÔÇØ and telling elections-based stories.
The workshop was as a result of the important role the social media and online journalism had played in helping to build stable democracies resulting from informed voting.
Participants at the workshop numbering about 100, were taught how to use online tools like Fusion Tables, Polls, Trends and Tables to get result and develop stories.
The program is ideal for editors, journalists, social media, digital reporters who are interested in becoming proficient in leveraging online digital tools for better elections reporting.