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.
Not in Africa. Our technology partners, Storyful, currently run the world’s leading social media verification service for global media such as NewYorkTimes and the Economist. We’ll bring this scientific approach to African citizen journalism.
Newsrooms are overwhelmed by the noise of the realtime web. They struggle to distinguish authentic voices or actionable intelligence from the ‘firehose’ of social media. African newsrooms also struggle to find commercially viable models for building citizen reporting networks. ListeningPost will tackle both problems, by creating a toolkit and replicable methodologies.
ListeningPost will use proven technologies and business models, to create a social media analysis and verification team that will watch for early warnings of big news stories. The team of trained analysts will use specialist technology and good journalism to identify new, credible sources (ranging from citizen reporters to eyewitnesses) close to developing stories and will connect them with local journalists for professional reportage. ListeningPost will also build an open source version of ScoopShot, in partnership with Africa’s largest indigenous social network, MXit, to create a revenue generating channel for citizen reporters who file reports with our newsroom
South Africa’s West Cape News wire service will transform part of its existing Cape Town newsroom into an dedicated ListeningPost for the Ireland-based Storyful, by proactively monitoring and verifying regional social media content for journalistic follow-up. The resulting content will be syndicated through Storyful’s global client network. ListeningPost will simultaneously partner with mobile community-building platform, Motribe, to build a ScoopShot-type citizen reporter app / feature phone service targeting slums and other under-covered communities across South Africa. The app will ultimately be deployed across MXit’s social network of almost 50 million people in 120 countries. Veteran editor and newsroom startup consultant, Ray Joseph, will advise on project implementation.
WCN the Western Cape’s largest independent news service, while Storyful is the world’s largest social media verification service for mainstream media networks. Motribe is a journalist-led African mobile pioneer, that partnered with MXit to build a social photo app, MxPix, that clocked an astounding 1,5 million page views in the first three days. The lessons learned from MxPix will be used to help build southern Africa’s first truly mass market citizen reporter app. Motribe is already the largest mobile social network in Nigeria and Indonesia . Together, the partnership is therefore well placed to replicate the ListeningPost model across Africa.
The grant is required for the upfront technology development phase. The actual operations will, from day one, be run on a breakeven commercial basis with editorial leads, crowdsourced content, and “frontline” citizen reportage sold to mainstream global media through WCN’s southernAfrican client base and Storyful’s global network. We will also investigate a South African YouTubechannel.