Tunisia's fixed and mobile telephony company Tunisie Telecom has committed to provide telecommunications services to the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT), building on its existing relationship with the organisation.
The telco says it will offer SNJT members and their families preferential packages, payment facilities and advantageous rates for several services in its portfolio of fixed telephony, mobile and internet products.
New technologies will be installed at the Union's headquarters, according to Nizar Bouguila, Tunisia Telecom Chairman and CEO.
"The partnership between Tunisie Telecom and the Syndicat des Journalistes Tunisiens is strategic for the national operator and is of particular importance in that it contributes to facilitate the work of journalists and enable them to communicate information on time and with the required quality. Tunisie Telecom, which continues to strengthen its role as an active player in society and its role as a global operator, has steadily improved this partnership since 2010 and will further enrich it by 2017."
Neji Baghouri, President of the SNJT says Tunisie Telecom has done well to support to the information sector in general and journalists in particular.
"This new convention opens new horizons for journalists through ICTs, which are the essential tools of a free, professional press in the digital age."
The new deal between Tunisie Telecom and SNJT comes two months after Code for Africa, Google News Labs and the World Bank announced that they would give 6,000 African journalists training in data journalism skills until February 2018.
The journalists trained as part of that initiative, which started in June, will be picked from 12 African cities, namely Abuja, Lagos, Nairobi, Cape Town, Durban, Casablanca, Yaounde, Dakar, Freetown, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, and Johannesburg.
Daniel Sieberg, head of training & development at Google News Lab says the web and digital tools present an interesting array of options for journalists although learning how to use these tools can be a daunting task for many of them.
"While the global news industry faces a knowledge challenge with regards to digital tools, Africa, by virtue of its non-digital education systems, faces even greater odds in the battle for digital integration in news and storytelling. In Nigeria for instance, only a few of the journalism institutions offer training programs that focus on web tools, and many top news organisations lose out on stories due to their inability to utilise newer and more engaging digital techniques."
A massive open online course (MOOC) is now freely available online, covering a range of web concepts and practices for digital journalists as part of the training. It will be followed by monthly study group meetups in collaboration with Hacks/Hackers to provide more focused, in-person instruction.