Friday, August 24, 2012

pPress Release : The 2012 edition of Highway Africa will kick off with South Africa’s first data journalism boot camp for journalists.

The 2012 edition of Highway Africa will kick off with South Africa's first data journalism boot camp for journalists.

The intensive three-day workshop will be launched at Rhodes University, four days before the start of the Highway Africa conference between 5 and 7 September.
The event will offer 30 journalists and 30 coders free training and the opportunity to work together in building news driven mobile applications (apps). Participants will also get the chance to develop civic engagement websites using limited resources. The best project from the workshop will be awarded $1000 (R8300) seed money to build a fully functional prototype.

The boot camp will be led by experienced trainers from Google, the Open Institute and the Open Knowledge Foundation. The workshop is also supported by the World Bank Institute, rDNA, the African Media Initiative, the International Centre for Journalists and the Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies.
Director of the Centre for Economics Journalism in Africa, Reg Rumney said democracy needed informed citizens in order for it to work.
"Transparency is essential for combatting corruption and making governments accountable," Rumney said. "We have all this data out there but data is not knowledge. You need people
that will covert data into useful information. I think the workshop will teach journalists the skill of processing raw data into useable information."

In recent months, central and local governments around the world have opened data and enabled free access to the public. While this has resulted in intense excitement from civil society organisations, much of the public has been left behind. Data Journalism enables journalists to develop such data into useable information for ordinary people.
Success stories include utility news sites and information apps such as Where did my tax dollars go?, the Lord's Resistance Army Crisis Tracker and the Country Sin Rankings.
Highway Africa and the consortium behind the data journalism boot camp hope to expand the project into a long-term training programme for South African and African media professionals.

About Highway Africa
The Highway Africa Centre is a programme of the School of Journalism at Rhodes University. The Highway Africa Conference is the flagship event of Rhodes University and since its launch in 1997, it has grown to become the largest annual gathering of African journalists on the continent. The focus of Highway Africa is on the impact of the internet and mobile technologies on journalism and the media.
Media Inquiries: Ms Anele Ngwenya, Mobile: 0844051589

International Institute for ICT Journalism

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Call for Proposals: First Crowdsourced Journalism Awards for Africa

The Big Picture Digital Journalism Project – an innovative new project conceptualized by Internews Europe and funded by the International Press Institute through its Innovative News Contest award - is launching Africa's first crowdsourced journalism awards. These 'Big Picture Awards' will serve to strengthen African journalist's capacities in the use of crowdsourced journalism tools and techniques by supporting the development of the most innovative crowdsourced journalism project ideas from Africa.


The awards consist of a 15,000 Euro grant, which will be shared out among the top three crowdsourced journalism project ideas from Africa; technical advice on project startup and one-on-one mentoring on project development for the top three concepts.


How to apply

Apply online by submitting a brief summary (not more than 2 pages long) of your crowdsourced journalism concept proposal structured as follows;


  • Title
  • Objective (include where and when the project will be implemented)
  • Which crowdsourcing tool(s) will be used / developed
  • Who are the beneficiaries
  • What are the planned activities
  • What are the expected results
  • What resources are needed


All entries should be submitted through the Big Picture Digital Project website. The deadline for submission of entries is close of business on August 21, 2012.


Project concepts which emphasise partnerships between journalists and technologists; enhance audience engagement; and maximize on the widespread use of mobile phones in Africa, are encouraged. All entries should incorporate the use of crowdsourced tools or techniques for journalism.


Who can apply

The awards are open to anyone with an innovative idea for a crowdsourced journalism project. However, preference will be given to entrants from the projects target countries i.e. Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.


The Judging Process

Winning projects will be selected by a panel of highly esteemed, international journalists and technologists including Ethan Zuckerman – Director of MIT's Center of Civic Media among others.


Notification Process

Announcements on the winning concepts will be made on or before September 10th. An awards ceremony will be held in Nairobi, Kenya on 30th September to promote the winning crowdsourced journalism concept ideas.


Apply online

Click here to apply online




About The Big Picture Digital Journalism Project

The Big Picture Digital Journalism Project is an innovative new project conceptualized by Internews Europe ( and funded by the International Press Institute ( through its Innovative News Contest award. The project goal is to strengthen African journalists' capacities through training in the use of crowdsourced journalism techniques which aim to leverage citizen participation and increase the representation of local voices and perspectives through both traditional and new media channels.


About Internews Europe

Internews Europe is a European non-profit organisation established in 1995 to help developing countries establish and strengthen independent media organisations in order to promote freedom of expression and freedom of access to information (


About The International Press Institute

The International Press Institute is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to safeguarding press freedom, protecting freedom of expression, freedom of information and the improvement of the journalism practice ( IPI runs a media innovation contest dubbed the IPI News Innovation Contest (

International Institute for ICT Journalism