The International Center for Journalists, in partnership with Code for Africa’s (CfA) CivicSignal AI/machine-learning team, iLAB forensic research team, PesaCheck fact-checking team and the Cardiff University Crime and Security Research Institute (CSRI) in the U.K, is inviting interested journalists to apply for the programme titled ‘African Academy for Open Source Investigation.’
The programme spans from August 1, 2021 to August 1, 2022.
The initiative, supported by the US Department of State, aims to equip journalists and fact-checkers with technical and verification skills, and the use of forensic tools to help unmask problematic behaviour in the information space and support access to credible information.
This initiative will target local expert analysts in four target countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal. Applicants must be proficient in the English language.
The partners will offer up to 80 fellowships to journalists and think-tank researchers with intensive hands-on virtual training and project-based mentorship.
The training will include how to use advanced social listening and media monitoring tools to detect questionable content, including how to use network analysis and data analysis tools to guide data-driven investigative reporting. Other skills will include how to draft compelling, data-based reports; expose information manipulation; and build strong audience engagement around the reports.
All participants will also receive digital security training and tools to promote strong digital hygiene practices.
The academy’s goals for this programme are to equip investigative media and watchdog NGOs with open-source intelligence (OSINT) skills and tools to turbocharge their investigations related to manipulative actions in the information space, help newsrooms and watchdog NGOs reach larger audiences and build deeper engagement with the public for data-driven discussions on key issues of concern and build a strong pan-African network of OSINT investigators who can collaborate with each other on transnational investigations, and collaborate with peers elsewhere in the world to unmask influence operations and information manipulation.
According to the academy, the selection would be based on the strength of the proposed topic and the strength of the journalists work as demonstrated in their work samples.
Interested applicants can fill the form here. The deadline for the submission of applications is September 17, 2021