A new contest hopes to fuel digital news innovation in Africa.
The African Media Initiative has announced the African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC), a $1 million fund to foster digital technology and innovative journalism in African news organizations.
AMI chief executive Amadou Mahtar Ba announced the fund at the African Media Leaders Forum in Tunisia, saying the contest will provide resources needed for African journalists to stay current in the digital age.
“Traditional media are still growing in Africa, but media organizations know that they need to go digital and mobile to prepare for the future," he said. "This competition is our way of saying: ‘We’re here to help.'"
The annual contest will offer US$12,500-100,000 grants to projects that seek solutions to weaknesses in African newsrooms - data-based investigative journalism, audience engagement, mobile news distribution, data visualization, revenue streams and workflow systems.
ANIC project manager and Knight International Journalism Fellow Justin Arenstein said the contest aims to "nurture a culture of innovation in African media" and will provide "access to experts that most media simply do not have."
Modeled after the Knight News Challenge, the contest attracted supporters like Google, the Omidyar Network, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the U.S. Department of State.
The contest website will launch this month and news organizations can start applying in February, 2012.