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.
1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]
Revolutionise frontline reporting across Africa by establishing the continent’s first three drone journalism teams at market-leading TV stations.
2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]
Not in Africa. Media pioneers in the US and Europe have proven the effectiveness of remote-controlled helicopters for filming violent conflicts, natural disasters, or difficult to reach locations. africanDRONE will do the same here.
3. Describe the real world challenge that you are trying to solve for African media [50 words]
Very few African media can afford helicopters. As a result, they struggle to cover fast-moving public events such as uprisings, protests, or wars. In fact, TV stations in Lagos and Nairobi even struggle to cover the chaotic traffic that cripples their cities. Camera-equipped drones operated by journalists can dramatically change this.
4. How and why will your solution work? [100 words]
africanDRONE will establish three pilot teams at respected TV stations in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as the core of a new pan-African drone journalism network. Each team will undergo intensive safety and operational training, and will be equipped with a professional HD digital camera drone, as well as a helium balloon for filming longer-duration stationary events. The pan-African network will establish a syndication hub to trade footage between participating TV stations, plus an umbrella website to share resources and knowledge. The network will also develop a model pan-African safety and ethics charter, negotiate for group services / hardware, and coordinate training.
5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
The africanDRONE initiative is being led by Kenya’s Radio Africa Group, which also broadcasts the nation’s most popular urban radio stations and its third largest daily newspaper, the Star. In South Africa, africanDRONE is in discussions with free-to-air 24hr news channel, eNews @ eTV, while in Nigeria we are in discussion with Channels TV. All three stations have international reputations for independent, award-winning journalism. africanDRONE is being advised by US professor Matt Waite of the Drone Journalism Lab, plus Ben Moskowitz from Mozilla Foundation, and a number of other legal, social justice, and technical experts from drone projects in the US and EU.
6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]
Nothing except the international advisory group and pan-African coalition has been built yet. The technology exists though, as do the operating protocols, training resources, and hardware support networks.
7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]
africaDRONE is an experiment, meant to seed the concept of drone journalism in Africa by producing some concrete proof-of-concept deployments by respected TV news operators. The bulk of the funding is meant for upfront costs, related to hardware purchase, skills training, and initial international consultations. Once proven, drones will be incorporated as core equipment by TV news.
Requested amount from ANIC: $60,000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 12 months
Total Project Cost: $80,000
Name: Dickens Olewe
Organization: Radio Africa Group
Country: Kenya / Nigeria / South Africa