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German institute to equip journos with digital journalism skills

African journalists in need of digital reporting skills have an opportunity to acquire them through the Intajour Fellowship Program which kicks off in September this year. This follows the call for applications for the fellowship programme by the International Academy of Journalism (IAJ) in Germany.
The 10 month programme, titled Journalism in the Digital World, seeks to empower global journalists from countries where there is a shortage of continued training in the trade with the knowledge and skills.

This year's programme starts in September 2012 and ends in June 2013, according to the institute. IAJ serves to develop and organise professional training for journalists from around the world, in an effort to improve their digital journalism expertise.

The programme comes on the back of changing conditions in newsrooms and media environment globally due to advances in technology and consumption patterns of audiences. For instance, today's news breaks on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, faster than on traditional news platforms like newspaper, radio and television.

However, more media houses globally and in Uganda have adapted to the new mediums of telling stories. But journalists, especially in developing countries with limited access to internet have not been quick to adopt to the changes due to computer illiteracy and limited access to training schools with new media courses.

"Each technical advance opens up new possibilities for research and publishing. To take advantage of these opportunities, journalists must constantly build and update their skills," the institute says.

Skills to learn

Participants in the IAJ fellowship programme will be equipped with skills in fields including:
  • Investigative research
  • Journalistic forms of presentation on the internet
  • Technical production of web content
  • Filming and editing web videos
  • Journalism and ethics: freedom and responsibility in the media
  • Internet politics

The programme consists of five stages: three attendance phases in Germany and two e-learning phases. Fellows take the form of intensive lectures, practical group work, discussions and visits to innovative working newsrooms. The Intajour courses are run by highly specialised lecturers and trainers from Germany and abroad, who have considerable experience with international study groups.

Applicants for the Fellowships should have demonstrated their journalistic talent as members of an editorial team or as freelancers according to the requirements. "Applicants should be interested in the new technical opportunities for doing research and publishing on the internet. An understanding of the role of independent media in democratic societies is a given."

Deadline for applications is Monday, 7 May 2012.

To apply, go to
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About Walter Wafula

Walter Wafula is a seasoned journalist who has reported for the Daily Monitor newspaper in Kampala-Uganda. He is also a contributor on website. Email Walter at and connect on LinkedIn.