IPDC-funded workshops on strengthening journalism through ICT begin in Colombia
Within the framework of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the UNESCO Office in Quito is supporting the Colombian association of investigative journalists, Consejo de Redacción, in the implementation of a training project on applying information and communication technologies (ICT) to investigative journalism.
The national project, "Strengthening Investigative Journalism with Information and Communication Technologies", begins with a series of one-week workshops that will start in Bogotá on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day. These workshops will focus on strengthening investigative reporting through ICT, the retrieval and application of public records, and searching methods and techniques of computer-assisted reporting. Participants will continue to work with trainers through a month-long online forum that will guide them in creating databases on social information, based on local public records.
Investigative journalism plays an important role in realizing the right of citizens to know by giving them the information and tools they need for informed participation in democratic processes. Consejo de Redacción has noted that the majority of working journalists in Colombia have not been trained in the application of ICT or on the use of public records.
To address these concerns, Consejo de Redacción will train 18 journalists from 12 different Colombian cities in the application of ICT to investigative journalism. A series of databases of public records will be produced as an outcome of the training to highlight the potential of access to public information. The social information to be used in these databases will correspond to the participants' cities of origin. It will become, therefore, an excellent source for future investigations and an important tool for monitoring the way services and resources are being administrated in the 12 municipalities.
The national project was approved for funding by the 54th session of IPDC Bureau in February 2010 and is expected to be completed by July 2010.
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