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.
Build a mobile application that empowers audiences to take action, by petitioning government or corporations, in response to investigative exposes by journalists.
Not in Africa. Our app is different, because it gives audiences who watch / read investigative reporting a way to take action and become involved in finding solutions. It builds civic engagement, and participatory journalism.
The core challenge is audience apathy. Media expose corruption and abuses on a daily basis, but nothing changes because it is easy for governments / corporates to ignore the media — but not for them to ignore thousands of irate citizens who have been moved by a piece of investigative journalism.
actNOW will work because it uses proven technologies and will be championed by Ghana’s leading producer of investigative journalism. actNOW will be built as a cross-platform mobile app (reaching 75% of Ghanaians) that will offer users a variety of ‘realtime’ petition and other civic engagement features. This will include allowing users to write / sign a petition to government or corporate officials, connect with other people concerned about a specific issue, participate in a poll on a specific issue or join a mobile-based discussion forum on an issue. actNOW will be open source software, allowing other media to adopt it.
Ghana’s leading investigative journalist and human rights commentator, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, is spearheading development of actNOW. The project manager will be Anas’ digital coordinator, Rose S. Afriyie, who will be responsible for researching and maintaining a central contact database of government officials, corporate authorities, and other contacts to help power the petition part of the app. Lovell Larbie will be the lead developer and lead the user interface design, with assistance from Kena Amoah. Derek Bossman will be responsible for developing strategies to monetize and sustain the initiative. The entire development team has membership in the Accra chapter of Hacks/Hackers.
We have built a passionate national audience in Ghana for Anas’ investigative TV documentaries, and have also built an international reputation for award-winning journalism. This will translate to high-profile (free) Ghanaian media coverage of the launch of actNOW, to help inform the public about the opportunity to do something about issues that outrage them. Anas’ established work also means that actNOW will launch with a deep catalogue of thought and action provoking documentaries. We will launch the actNOW at the premiere of Anas’ latest investigation into pastoral rape and corruption, “Undercover: In Search of the Devil.”
Our team includes a business development expert who’ll build in advertising and (sponsored) public service announcement strategies for actNOW. We’ll also explore revenue share models with mobile companies, based on premium rates charged to users. Main costs are one-off development costs. Once built, app won’t cost much to operate.