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Journalist (data journalist)

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster, part of BBC News, delivering a wide range of language and regional services and working increasingly with other parts of BBC News to serve global audiences. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 468 million globally (2020 figure), including TV, digital platforms, social media, AM, FM, shortwave, digital satellite and cable channels.

As a member of the Nairobi innovation team, you will be part of one of the largest offices of the BBC World Service and work alongside some of the most creative and dynamic professionals of the BBC. As a data journalist, your mandate is to create innovative and engaging digital content for African and global audiences.

You will work closely and collaboratively with East Africa services to deliver the best service for BBC audiences while also exchanging ideas and best practices with the West Africa languages Visual Journalism team and, when possible, creating joint projects.

Role Responsibility

The purpose of the visual journalism team is to unlock the potential of multimedia storytelling across all our platforms - mobile, desktop, tablet and TV. By using graphical tools and combining those of data and journalistic rigor, the team aims to produce powerful visual explanations that improve understanding of the news.  Key responsibilities for this role:

To enhance and explain major news stories. To research, write, co-ordinate, manage and deliver to tight deadlines the production of high quality added value digital content including: information graphics, maps, graphical interactives, multimedia explainers, data journalism, data visualization and other bespoke-format web content

  • To generate ideas for data-driven stories and for how they might be developed and visualised for a variety of platforms
  • To collaborate with reporters, editors, and the fellow team's designer and developer to bring those stories to publication
  • To participate and contribute to the wider Visual Journalism Community, with the Central BBC News Visual Journalism team and the other VJ Languages teams
  • To make the most of data and visual journalism tools and workflows to create content of high editorial and technical standard
  • To be aware of relevant advances in web technology and how they can enhance the team’s output
  • Support fellow African Hub journalists to make the most of the available tools, to improve commissioning and workflows.
  • To represent the East Africa hub within the BBC Visual Journalism community
  • To exchange regular notes and ideas with colleagues from the West Africa Languages Visual Journalism team

The Ideal Candidate

The Ideal Candidate will have the following experience and knowledge:


  • Numerate – ability to understand spreadsheets and create them in Excel and Google Drive for stories  data sharing
  • Knowledge of data sources and FOI procedure, if relevant, as it pertains to your region
  • A strong grasp of how to clean and query data
  • A good understanding of statistics and statistical analysis


Be able to use basic design software (like Photoshop) to make composite images as well as create and update and create basic templates for static content for social media – whichever platforms are most relevant

  • Good visual awareness and web production experience
  • Experience of visualising data and using visualisation tools
  • Demonstrable experience of working to tight deadlines

Also desirable knowledge, skills and experience

  • Digital mapping skills to produce maps for digital outlets (like use of Q-GIS to create heatmaps and pointmaps for output – which can be edited by design and shared with broadcast, CartoDB)
  • Knowledge of advanced features in Excel like pivot tables
  • Knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL) and of script languages such as Python and/ or R to query databases
  • Knowledge of data visualisation tools such as Tableau, Refine, Flourish (or similar)
  • Knowledge of scripting data processing languages like R
  • Experience of video production and motion graphics software (like Final Cut Pro and After Effects) to create simple explainer videos and animations
  • Experience in the production of long form digital features (like, with tools like Shorthand or similar
  • Experience of negotiating with public officials for data and open records
  • Experience of gathering information via Freedom of Information requests

Package Description

Band: C
Contract type: Permanent
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Local terms and conditions apply.


About the Company

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here


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