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Nomad’s Journey into Journalist Journey

CfN HH May 2018

Code for Nigeria Hacks/Hackers – May 2018

Picking up writing was a wrong idea, I’d always thought. In high school, I’d see news board bombarded with amazing write ups and features on school happenings -Most times I read only one article, listen to other peoples comments and walk away.

Why? Despite people appreciating these hard work on prints, It didn’t mean much to me, cos I feel I can do better without even doing it before. Of which, very well, I can. This doesn’t mean that I refuse to appreciate these articles, at least the writers are better off me, they gave writing a shot, unlike me.

I didn’t begin writing articles in high school until college, my roommates studying law made me do it. For months, “Acme” was the talk of the campus. Acme was my pen name. I enjoyed the moments, I got plaudits from people but it still didn’t resonate as a career, rather, a mere hobby. After my sophomore year, I was made the editor in chief of the Campus Crescent Press Club (making me the first 300 level and non-Arts student to get the chair), right there they showed me my path,but, I didn’t see it.

Right now, I’m writing at the cubicle of my fifth job with semi happiness and fulfilment. Semi because I’m yet to write fully as I’d always wanted. Seven months ago and eight years after graduation, I commenced my right journey in the right direction. For this first time ever in my career, I pictured my journey in split seconds. As a freelance journalist, I know my vision and mission, and have a short and long term goal. I’m shooting my shot!

How did this happen?

I joined the right team with a wrong knowledge.

Wrong Knowledge ❎❎❎: Code for Nigeria; a Nigerian organization that teach people how to code, you know, write programming languages. That’s the reason I joined anyway, for me, it’s still a walk in the darkest direction, but I was finding my treasure.

Right Knowledge ✔✔✔: Code for Nigeria is a non- governmental organization with three thematic areas -civic technology, civic media and community building, these is so to equip newsrooms, journalists and techies on tools, skills and knowledge they need to better connect the public with the Government.

Good one! This is my jam!

Code of Nigeria opened my eyes to the importance of my existence, I’ve been hovering around knowledge without realizing. I’m a talented writer, a mechanical engineering graduate, postgraduate in computer science and a social intelligence analyst. Probably minus Mech Engrg., All these into one, Journalist! -with sub-specialty in Data Journalism, Investigative Reporting and Multimedia Journalism.

Despite having a traditional job, freelance journalism drives some alerts into my bank account every month despite my working only six hours weekly- only Saturdays and Sundays. I could only achieve this feats because of the value I’m getting from Code for Nigeria every month.

They load me and other journalists with all these life changing and multi million dollar worth of valuable information at no cost whatsoever, sometimes I feel like paying the organization and the facilitators, Blaise and John.

42 Montgomery Street, Yaba, is the Universal Hub of Journalism. Don’t tell I said this.

Check out some courses that made people consult with me,

  1. Finding data for story
  2. Data Visualization with Atlas
  3. Designing Infographics with Mapbox
  4. Making Interactive maps with Carto
  5. Google Fusion Tables
  6. Fact checking and combating fake news
  7. Data Visualization with Flourish

Snippet into our recent class, facilitated by Blaise Aboh.

Data Visualization with Flourish

This month, May 2018- Blaise cut through the chase by tackling the topic with an approach worth commending. “Hello everyone,” he says, “Tell me what you’ve come here to learn today?”

As the mic passes round, he carefully noted all our responses, immediately analyzed them and took the class back to the grassroots. He started by deciphering some coded features on PowerPoint. That alone, I’m satisfied, we can end the class now, for I’m over saturated with information already.

From this session, my understanding of the use of shapes, icons and colours grew from the beginner to advanced level. We were introduced to the “Çolour Wheel” and how the eye dropper feature dances to its tune.

Also worthy of knowing are;

  • 33 ways to visualize your ideas -an info graphic from funders and founders. Google it.
  • How to choose the right chart/ graph for data i.e Using a timeline for a data with data progression. You know what I mean?

At that point, I thought I wouldn’t need flourish again because now I know the basics of design, and with my technical background, I can learn any tools. Then when he started Flourish, I thanked my star I didn’t leave the class for my Saturday Owambe.

According to visualising data, “Flourish cuts out the complexity with a powerful template system.” Yes, it is.

But for you to understand, get back to the design basics. That’s where it started.

And, you need a design expert to put you through.

When is the next class?

The class went smooth to the end and most of the participants are longing for the next class already.

Well, the class happens every third Saturday of the month, block that on your calendar, don’t let the Lagos Party party away your goal.

Reach out to Eromosele John Aitokhuehi and thank me later.

Worthy of note, I registered with Project Shield through Code for Africa to guard my website. Are you a newsroom, journalist or blogger who wants your website protected against DDOS -Distributed Denial of Service. Reach out to Code for Nigeria.

What else?

Hmnn. Should you need me to teach you any of the courses I’d learnt from Code for Nigeria, comment on this post. FREE it was given to me, I’m giving back for FREE.

Adios!

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