ANIC is looking for ideas that will transform the way that African media work. This means that your idea should offer significant and tangible improvements to existing tools or techniques, or should propose new ways for African journalists to gather news, tell stories, engage with audiences, or sustain media organisations.
Ideas that have the potential to be replicated or that could scale continentally will have an advantage.
Establish a data-driven “CSI team” of journalists that uses forensic digital tools to track and expose recidivist ecological criminals and syndicates across international borders.
Not in Africa. Oxpeckers will revolutionize environmental reporting in Africa, which is often activist led, by providing replicable digital tools and forensic methodologies for evidence-based, data-driven, analytical investigations.
Organised crime uses sophisticated circumvention tools and technology to avoid detection. We will establish a data-driven investigation unit that tracks crime syndicates, corrupt officials, and greedy corporations who are looting Africa’s natural resources. The tools, data, and reportage will be available to journalists worldwide as a shared resource.
The unit has access to resources at amaBhungane Center for Investigative Reporting. It will search eco-offences reported in online media to build up baseline database.
The results will be aggregated into an SNA database profiling people, companies, places and other themes. All source documents will be processed via DocumentCloud with entity extraction to add to the SNA database. The results of the baseline database will be made available as a public resource.
Oxpeckers will use this information and its environmental reporting networks to investigate and report stories and archive results in the database. The outcome will be the most comprehensive database of eco-offences in Africa.
Pioneering southern Africa environmental editor Fiona Macleod will spearhead the new unit, which will be based at the internationally acclaimed amaBhungane Center for Investigative Reporting, and which will publish resulting stories in Africa’s leading investigative newspaper, Mail&Guardian, as well as other mainstream media.
The initiative will be advised by global computer-aided research and reporting expert, Brant Houston, who is in the process of establishing a global environmental reporting network. Technology partners DocumentCloud and Poderopedia have also both pledged support.
Oxpeckers will join the new African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) to ensure that any tools or knowledge resources that it develops will be shared across the continent.
Oxpeckers has accumulated 20 years of investigative source material, intel, and networks. It has partnered with Poderopedia to tailor existing social network analysis, with the civic developers who created the pioneering SNA data visualisation InfluenceNetworks platform, and will be implementing proven data management platforms such as DocumentCloud on the backend.
Once the unit is set up and resources put in place, they will be subsumed by amaBhungane as part of its core function. The research and data will also feed into news at the Mail & Guardian, and will be used to create special reports similar to Greening the Future and Investing in the Future.