Monday, 14 May 2012
$ 1 million African News Innovation Challenge
eager to see journalism flourish in the digital age, in all forms and
on all continents. Today, with half a dozen other generous sponsors,
we’re taking a big step forward with a new $1 million African News Innovation Challenge.
initiative is the latest in a series of projects to spur innovation in
African journalism. Since 2010 we’ve been working with newsrooms across
the continent to show journalists how the Internet can help them be
better reporters—whether it’s doing advanced search and analysis for
investigative stories or incorporating great data-based visuals and
citizen voices into their reporting. In Ghana we’re helping journalists
produce evidence-based reporting on the country’s new oil wealth, while
in Senegal we gave journalists training on election reporting.
In Kenya we helped pioneer Africa’s first data journalism boot camp, in
which participants produced eight separate data-driven stories or news
apps, including a TV documentary that exposed the plight of rural schools and an analysis of government spending at county level that has been nominated for an international award.
we’re looking for even more innovations aimed at strengthening and
transforming African news media. The Challenge will provide grants
ranging from $12,500 to $100,000 for project proposals falling into
four categories: news gathering, storytelling, audience engagement and
the business of news. Proposals can include ideas that improve
everything from data-based investigative journalism and crowd-sourced
citizen reporting, to new ways of distributing news on mobile
platforms, or new revenue models that help wean media off a reliance on
advertising. In addition to cash grants, winners will receive
technical, business development and marketing advice.
The African Media Initiative, Africa’s largest association of media owners and operators, is running the Challenge. Other partners include Omidyar Network, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the U.S. State Department, the Konrad Adenhauer Stiftung and the World Association of Newspapers & News Producers.
Entries must be submitted to the ANIC website
by midnight Central African Time on July 10, 2012. While news pioneers
from anywhere in the world are welcome, all entries must have an
African partner that will help develop and test the innovation. Entries
will be judged by an international jury, and finalists will get a
chance to refine their proposals during one-on-one mentoring sessions
at a “tech camp” in Zanzibar in August 2012.
The winners will be announced at the Africa’s largest gathering of media owners and executives, at the Africa Media Leaders Forum, in Ivory Coast in November 2012.
We’re also active in promoting digital journalism outside of Africa, such as supporting the Nordic News Hacker, the Global Editor Network’s data journalism prize and International Press Institute
media innovation prizes. As media organizations continue to adapt to
the new digital world, we’re committed to working with journalists to
help them use technologies to gather and tell important stories.
Posted by Julie Taylor, Head of Communications, Sub Saharan Africa