BloggingGhana, TruthGauge, Code4Ghana & 37 Others Emerges As Finalists In $1 Million Innovation Challenge

Ghana’s BloggingGhana, TruthGauge, Code4Ghana and 37 other digital journalism projects have been shortlisted as finalists in the inaugural $1 million African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC). According to African News...
Ghana’s BloggingGhana, TruthGauge, Code4Ghana and 37 other digital journalism projects have been shortlisted as finalists in the inaugural $1 million African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC).
According to African News Innovation Challenge:
              This is the largest fund for digital journalism experimentation in Africa, and is designed to spur solutions to the business, distribution and workplace challenges that face the media industry. In all, 513 applicants were carefully screened by a technical review panel that evaluated which projects have the best potential for strengthening and transforming African news media.
Projects were also assessed for their potential to be replicated by media elsewhere in Africa, or to be scaled up across the continent, to create wide and sustained impact.
“We are thrilled with the broad range of innovation and ideas among the finalists,” says ANIC Manager, Justin Arenstein. Arenstein is a Knight International Journalism Fellow, who leads the initiative as part of a wider digital innovation program with Africa’s largest association of media owners and operators, the African Media Initiative (AMI). “The teams with the strongest links to newsrooms and technology partners had an advantage, as did those that could already point to some proofs-of-concept.”
Short-listed finalists include proposals to improve data-driven investigative journalism and the security of journalists or their sources, as well as improve audience engagement, mobile news distribution, data visualization, new revenue models and workflow systems.
“The finalists are also all projects that haven’t lost sight of the core focus for the initiative: quality journalism,” says Arenstein. “There is a danger in any innovation program that we get blinded by gadgets and hype. The technical review panel therefore focused on projects that demonstrated a keen commitment to journalism itself.”
Finalists will attend a TechCamp in Zanzibar, in partnership with the Tech@State program. ,There they will have the opportunity to refine and defend their proposals in consultation with some of the world’s leading media technology strategists, including experts from the U.K. Guardian’s data team, Mozilla’s OpenNews initiative, Google, previous Knight News Challenge winners, and the World Association of Newspapers.
A separate jury of international media strategists, technology innovators, and funding experts will evaluate the revised project plans and will select an estimated 20 winners. They will be announced at the continent’s largest annual gathering of media executives, the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF), in Dakar, Senegal, on November 10.
Winners will receive cash grants ranging from $12,500 to $100,000, as well as additional technology and business development support. They will also have access to a dedicated AMI CivicTech code lab, for technical advice, start-up support and one-on-one mentoring from the world’s top media experts.
ANIC’s founding partners include Omidyar Network, Google, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the U.S. State Department, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
Applicants were encouraged to enter their submissions in the “open” public category, so that they could receive public comments and reviews. The technical review panel and the international jury give preference to applications in this category. A “closed” category was provided for projects with proprietary trade or technology secrets. We put an asterisk next to the closed entries.

BloggingGhana’s Submission

Create a meeting place online and offline, for civil society, traditional media and new media professionals in Ghana.
Currently local content is perceived as an empty shelf rather than a vibrant market. In our quest to strengthen national capacity to produce, analyze and use reliable statistics .We desire to build an online platform with emphasis on the quality of data to inform national development priorities and enhance collaboration between data producers (NGO’s and CSO’s ), decision makers and traditional media.
Traditional media is struggling to find information to disseminate. Often local occurrences are covered in articles pulled off international news websites on the Internet. At the same time, civil society is sitting on rich information based on local observations, but unable to communicate them.
Our solution has an offline and an online part and that is why it will work where other ventures have failed. The offline solution is a meeting place for civil society, traditional media people and at the same time a venue for new media professionals. At the venue we can do trainings, press conferences, let people discuss data and brainstorm joint projects.
The online part is an interactive database of all these stakeholders where projects, professionals and press releases can be collated. Each organization will be responsible for adding data to the website/platform. The data must not be processed to support measures or decisions in regard to particular data subjects. The data will be used solely for development, research and news purposes. We believe that this dual approach will create advancement, friendships and awareness, which will in the long term promote a culture of promoting local content.
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Award-winning Ghanaian technology blogger, Mac-Jordan shares insights and stories on African innovations, digital marketing, startups, tech entrepreneurs and helpful tips for starter entrepreneurs. Get in touch: or text: +233(0)544335582.


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