“The quality of the information individuals can access will, by necessity, greatly influence their ability to participate in the political process.” —World Wide Web Foundation
August 2014 End date
Lively and independent media are essential components of the complex system of checks and balances that characterizes democratic societies. Independent media serves as a watchdog, holding government accountable and providing important information and analysis so that citizens more effectively engage in society and with government.
However, as the open data movement brings government information into the public domain, journalists are finding themselves outpaced and overwhelmed, without a solid understanding of how to analyse and represent the data to their audiences.
Without support for the media to understand and engage with government data, there is a substantial risk that this information becomes meaningless, undermining the quest for more accountable governance and the media’s ability to support it.
Code4Ghana, an initiative of the World Wide Web Foundation, is working to ensure that open data can be accessed, interpreted and communicated by media in a way that is understandable for ordinary citizens in Ghana.
The project brings together a community of ‘data fellows’ – civic minded technologists and open data experts who are embedded into media organisations to support understanding of data on governance issues. Building on initiatives such as Mozilla, OpenNews and Code4Democracy, the data fellows also trains journalists on data analysis and helps to establish data-driven journalism as a critical component in Ghana’s media organisations.
The ultimate objective of the project is to effectively shift the culture in existing Ghanaian media organisations towards use of open data-driven journalism and, through it, informed civic engagement.
The World Wide Web Foundation was established by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee to tackle the fundamental obstacles to realizing his vision of an open Web available, usable and valuable for everyone. The Foundation is devoted to achieving a world in which all people can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely. We promote the right to an affordable, universal and uncensored Web through research, advocacy and campaigning as well as technical innovation. Many of the Web Foundation’s programs are global in nature.