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.
Enable journalists to surmount structural barriers to newsgathering, through microcollaboration, by linking them to data and information via social tools/technologies.
Services like Ujima Project, Quora, StackExchange, WikiAnswers, LinkedIn Answers, Facebook Questions, journalist lists/forums, etc., are nominally similar, but address neither the South’s technology infrastructure barriers, nor journalists’ structural, privacy/security needs.
Invstg8.net was inspired by an African journalist whose investigations were stalled: Local sources wouldn’t talk. Poor Internet and mobile access limited his communication.
He said these problems were widespread, a fact supported anecdotally by many journalists, and empirically by African network penetration data.
The information he sought, I could get in minutes.
Invstg8.net eliminates structural, practical, technological and financial barriers by enabling journalists anywhere, who hit reporting roadblocks, to microcollaborate with peers with access.
Explainer video: http://j.mp/skinetv
Invstg8.net will filter and match journalists seeking data with those likely to have access to it, in a targeted manner.
Invstg8.net will help journalists abroad trying to cover Africa and their nationals’ activities in the continent, but lack networks, budget, etc.
Invstg8.net will accelerate reporting on stories it would take months or years to tell — or that wouldn’t be told at all for lack of even the most basic data and information that is easily accessible to peers.
Saleem Khan: Project leader, journalist [editor and reporter, ex- CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp./Radio-Canada), Metro International, Toronto Star newspapers; chairman/director, Canadian Association of Journalists; director, Canadian Journalists’ Education Foundation]; advisor, University of Toronto ThingTank Lab [Faculty of Information]
K. Khan: User experience strategist and designer, OCAD University sLab advisor; leader of UXI, Canada’s largest UX professionals group
H. Leson: Director of community engagement, Ushahidi; open source community developer, library and information technician.
M. Saniga, CA: President and co-founder, near-realtime business intelligence/data insight generation software firm Quant Inc.; former finance director and manager at Cara, Dell.
Various ad hoc/pro bono.
We have encountered venture capitalists, private companies, NGOs and news organizations that have expressed interest in investing in invstg8.net once a working prototype is available, or in purchasing beta or release-candidate licences.
We will also sustain the project by selling consulting services and training, a freemium pricing model, and ancillary merchandise.