The project is one of many trying to encourage journalists to go digital to improve the quality of the work, from crowdsourcing content to using infographics to tell stories.
More than 500 proposals were submitted for the challenge.
The African News Innovation Challenge is run by the the African Media Initiative, supported by Google with other partners including Omidyar Network, 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).
Twenty winners were announced and their ideas ranged from mobile apps to mobilise citizens against corruption and improved infographics to communicate complex issues, to developing new platforms for sharing content on buses and taxis.
In a statement posted by Julie Taylor, Google’s Communications Manager for Sub Saharan Africa, it is stated the “key themes among the projects include a growing concern about manipulated online content, the security of communications with whistleblowers and sources, and the need to improve engagement with audiences.”
The winners receive cash grants ranging from US$10,000 to US$100,000; technology support from a team of four developers at AMI’s jAccelerator lab in Kenya, and business development support from top media strategists affiliated with the World Association of Newspapers & News Publishers.
Ten of the winners will also be flown to the Knight Foundation’s annual M.I.T. Civic Media Conference in the U.S., while the rest will be showcased at other important industry events.
The ANIC winners are:
AdBooker (South Africa)
Africa Check (South Africa / Nigeria)
skyCAM (Kenya / Nigeria)
Africa’s Wealth (renamed NewsStack) (Nigeria / Namibia)
Citizen Desk (Mozambique)
ConvergeCMS (Kenya / Tanzania / Uganda)
CorruptionNET (South Africa)
DataWrapper (Nigeria / Senegal / Tanzania)
End-to-End (renamed LastMile Crowdmapping) (Liberia / Ghana / Kenya)
Green Hornet (South Africa)
ListeningPost (South Africa)
MoJo: Keeping media honest by monitoring online journalism (South Africa)
openAFRICA (Kenya / Nigeria / Rwanda / South Africa)
ODADI (renamed Code4SouthAfrica) (South Africa)
Oxpeckers (South Africa)
Wikipedia Zero (Cameroon / Ivory Coast / Tunisia / Uganda)
More information about the winners’ projects is available on the ANIC website.