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.
Transform media’s watchdog powers by kickstarting data-driven journalism, harnessing newly available open government data and a data savvy tech community.
Code4Kenya embeds hackers in media organisations through paid fellowships. Building on this, we will link fellowships to a larger community of web developers and entrepreneurs, thereby multiplying innovation and uptake.
Journalists can seldom penetrate the secrecy surrounding issues such as oil revenue or government contracts. Additionally, the media are often distrusted as partisan and unreliable. By advancing media’s ability to exploit new open government data, we will dramatically increase its power and credibility to hold government accountable to citizens.
Code4Ghana will build a community of civic hackers to develop and use apps to analyse and interpret open data from sources such as the recently launched Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI). Competitive fellowships will enable a few hackers to work intensively with media organisations for six months, while data bootcamps, hackathons and training programmes will stimulate the wider community to develop applications inspired by ideas and needs identified through the fellowships.
Ghana is an ideal testing ground because while its media is free and vigorous, government corruption remains endemic. With innovative data tools, Ghanaian media can become an effective watchdog.
Mobile Web Ghana (MWG) will bring the technical and community expertise it has acquired through its mobile-tech entrepreneurship programme. It will also engage its deep network of Ghanaian hacktivists and media organisations (Joy FM, Citi FM, e-TV, TV3).
Craig Hammer of the World Bank will contribute lessons from open data bootcamps in other countries.
An advisory group of investigative journalists and civil society campaigners will be formed.
Mobile Web Ghana has built an extensive network of hacktivists, media and technical partners in Ghana. Nearly 80 developers have already been trained to develop ideas for local mobile services. This will be the base to grow Code4Ghana’s community of civic hackers. The community will have access to MWG’s physical space and existing infrastructure to support events organisation, training sessions and networking.
In addition, the Web Foundation is playing a lead role in the Ghana Open Data Initiative (GODI). The expertise, experience and connections of the Web Foundation will feed into the development of the community and fellowship training process.
By enabling and building the capacity for data analysis within influential media organisations, we will stimulate the market for more. When audiences begin to learn real facts about relevant issues, they will demand more. When one media organisation is recognized for having better and more reliable information, others will be compelled to follow, financing the creation of more data journalism applications and skills.