Rewiring newsrooms for the digital age isn’t easy because they are complex, fragile machines that struggle daily with the balance between churning out large quantities of content while striving to create journalistic perfection.

You can seldom just flick a switch, or plug in new people and new systems. Real digital transformation is much messier, and involves reskilling people rather than wholesale replacement.

That’s why Code for Africa (CfA) is partnering with Google News Lab and the World Bank’s Global Media Development Programme, to launch an intensive digital skills programme in  Abuja , Cape Town, Casablanca , Dakar , Dar es Salaam , Durban , Freetown , Johannesburg , Kampala , Lagos , Nairobi and Yaoundé

The initiative, run as an Academy out of CfA’s award-winning StoryLab journalism laboratory, will also offer a free online course in for journalists anywhere in Africa.

The course modules beginning with Web Fundamentals to give basic digital skills for newsrooms, alongside more advanced specialist tracks for data journalists, investigative reporters, geo-journalists and multimedia storytelling. There will also be standalone modules on news verification / digital fact-checking to help journalists combat fake news, as well as digital security modules to help keep journalists and their sources safe.

Lessons will include video explainers, concise tip-sheets and exercises to immediately try out new skills. Participants will be able to tailor courses to their most pressing needs, by mixing and matching modules. Journalists who need help fast, while on deadline, will be able to learn the exact tool they need in minutes.

Apply here to participate in the academy.