Thursday 20 Sep 2018
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Project Focus PDF Print E-mail

View of Grocott's Offices - Grahamstown High StreetTo acheive the anticipated objectives, the Indaba Ziyafika, The News is Coming, project aims to focus on two activities.

1. Using mobile phones in new and innovative ways to demonstrate news and information within the community of Grahamstown. (Under the banners of "enlarging the local public sphere" and "reconnecting people to power").

2. Equipping media producers in Grahamstown - and more broadly Africa - with the technology (primarily software) and a suggested set of methodologies to make better use of mobile phones to create "communication streams" through which news and information move multi-directionally, ie to audiences and between audiences. (Under the banners of "making the most of mobile in Africa" and "creating convergent conversation".

Indaba Ziyafika aims to acheive these objectives through nin sub-projects, set up and agreed to in the grant agreement. These sub-projects are:

1. The developement and deployment of an open source mobile content management system (cms) for a small town newspaper (Grocott's Mail) in a developing country, enabling the publication and it's website to incrementally include more citizen journalism submissions and more "audience"/"media" interaction via cell phone, thereby widening the local public sphere; (and, in addition, making available this mobile cms to any media organization who wants it).

Highway Africa Delegates Attend A NiKA Training Workshop At Grocott's Mail2. A conceptualization and creation of a citizen journalism newsroom (at Grocott's Mail offices), providing a physical hub from which the project will be coordinated and from where Grhamstown's residents can access digital technologies and learn how to become effective citizen journalists.

3.Developing a cadre of young early adopters from Grahamstown schools, with their mobile-generated content finding its way into custom-built "schools pages" on Grocott's Mail Online (the paper's website) and on a cell phone platform connected to Grocott's Mail online, the print edition, and other outlets, and simultaneously developing a further cadre of adult citizen journalists through training provided in the citizen journalism newsroom.

4. The production of audio content for cell phones (and Grocott's Mail online) through a student (and Citizen Journalist) run news agency.

5. The production of video content and the inclusion of hyper-local video clips, incorporating citizen journalism and video student contributions.

6. The creation of appropriate business models for various elements of the Indaba Ziyafika project by means of research and education of emerging media managers with the help of international and local experts working with the Sol Plaatjie Media Leadership Institute.

7. Masters' degree level research and input into the conceptualization, development, piloting and refinement of the whole initiative, with particlaur focus on it's wider significance for both convergence and democracy in South Africa and Africa.

8. Disseminating the lessons of "Indaba Ziyafika" at the world's biggest annual gathering of Africa Journalists, the annual Highway Africa Conference, including via hands-on training workshops and the distribution of CMS software (and discussion about the coverage of the development of a modus operandi in terms of converged coverage of local democracy.

9. Promoting the experience to other newsrooms via production and distribution of three dedicated featured sections in the annual Rhodes Journalism Review Publication.