by Shubha Bala, on July 9, 2012
More than 200 applications have been made for the African News Innovation Challenge, covering a wide range of ideas from news through social networks, to citizen journalism, to helping news outlets create more revenue. Announced in late 2011, the African Media Initiative created a million dollar fund to promote innovation in the news industry with a deadline to apply of July 10. We decided to take a look through the submissions, which are posted publicly, to highlight potential future partners or innovative ideas you might want to try yourself. Here’s a few of those 200 potential projects that caught our eye:
• Mimiboard.com enables hyperlocal content by allowing people to create their own virtual noticeboards. “The community then stick notes to this board via SMS, Android, J2ME and WAP. These boards can then be embedded into any website/Facebook and can also be printed out as a newspaper.”
• Newstream allows publishers without the resources or technical know-how to create custom apps to publish their content to users’ mobile devices. “Publishers create an account and setup up a channel with our system to disseminate content. Content consumers download and install a mobile app on their phone. Then they browse and subscribe to channels from which they wish to receive real-time updates.”
• NewsBias helps readers measure the bias in their news. It shows users multiple articles on the same topic, and they in turn vote on the “trustworthiness” of each piece.
• Another project is a revenue generator for traditional media, helping radio stations make revenue from listener greetings by both placing and paying for their greetings over their mobile phone instead of having to come in person to the studio.
• FaraiMedia is a platform to connect African media to potential advertisers, acting as a sales force and marketing team for African media.
It is worth browsing through some of the other applications to get your creative juices flowing and inspire ideas for technical innovation to help you make the digital transition.