Contest launches for African journalism innovation
If you’re in Africa, you’ve probably already heard of the African News Innovation Challenge, a new US$1m fund to support new digital news initiatives in Africa. It’s modeled after the Knight News Challenge in the United States, and it’s worth taking a look at some of the projects that have been funded through that competition. The major difference being that projects for ANIC should be looking to solve African news problems.
Broadly, the challenge is looking for news-gathering, storytelling or audience-engagement projects as well as the business ideas that will make the projects financially sustainable.
The spirit of the challenge is very much in keeping with the ideas behind the Knowledge Bridge and MDLF’s other major digital project Digital News Ventures. In launching the African News Innovation Challenge, African Media Initiative Chief Executive Amadou Mahtar Ba said:
African media have a tremendous opportunity to leapfrog the business disruption faced by media in Europe and the U.S. The growing reach of mobile networks and improving Internet access is beginning to reshape the media landscape in Africa. We believe this competition will help African news organisations stay ahead of the curve.
ANIC started taking submissions on 10 May and will continue to accept submissions through 10 June so time is of the essence. What will it take to win? Justin Arenstein, who is heading up ANIC, told the Daily Maverick in South Africa:
We’ve decided to deliberately embrace disruptive ideas, and out-of-the-box thinking. And we are deliberately saying no to funding training, or content for content’s sake, and are rather trying to encourage new thinking, and new models.
If you’re thinking about pitching an idea to ANIC, let us know.
Article by Kevin Anderson