Friday 23 Jun 2017
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
What Is NiKA? PDF Print E-mail

Simon Pamphilon Demonstrates NiKA NiKA - Giving A New Voice To Content Management


NiKA, meaning “give” in isiXhosa is a content management system designed and developed at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, by the School of Journalism and Media Studies and the Computer Science Department. Developed with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, NiKA has the objective of helping small and independent publishers take advantage of the digital age by giving the programme to them for free until the end of 2011.

Creeping into newsrooms across the country, this programme is proving to be extremely worthwhile. The content management system, which is a Windows-based programme built on the Open Source Drupal platform allows for managing editorial work flow in a newsroom, from inception of the story until it ends up “On the Page”. NiKA allows users to create stories ,or import them from other applications, run spell checks and word counts as well as archive stories, captions and thumbnails of photographs.

With this programme you can:

-Create stories or import them from other applications, run spell checks and word counts.

-Add or edit headlines and slugs, add photos, add captions and write notes.

-“Work flow” stories by dragging and dropping them, through five queues (In Progress, Newsdesk Subbing, Layout and On the page). Stories can also be dragged back into previous queues if they need revision or are held over.

-Archive stories, captions and thumbnails of photographs.

-Retrieve earlier versions of the stories in progress.

- Search for archived stories using keywords or by previous edition or date range.

- One of the most appealing characteristics of the  programme is it's ability to receive text messages sent from cell phones directly to NiKA and allowing you to send SMS news alerts and headlines to subscribers. NiKA’s ability to receive SMS messages into a newspaper’s news feed allows ordinary people to have a voice they may not have had before. An example of this is when teachers at a Grahamstown school went on strike and threatened the life of the school principal, a learner at the school sent Grocott’s a message, alerting them to this crisis. Grocott’s was then able to send a reported to investigate the story in more depth bringing the situation to public notice.

The NiKA Digital Newsroom (DNR) was a winner of the AIP Media Innovation Awards in 2005 and previous versions of the Digital Newsroom have been used to power the Cue Website during the National Arts Festival in 2004 and 2005 and the Highway Africa News Agency website since its inception. A version of the content management system is also being used to run the online edition of Grocott’s Mail, which was launched in 2006.  Nika 2.0 has since been released and allows one to fully run with the SMS capability and has proved great for easily managing content and getting headlines back out to users’ cellular phones. Up and coming plans for NiKA also include it's ability to have an instant message platform.

Do you want to read more about NiKA?