Cell phone news and online newspapers: a transition to personalized, inexpensive news and information on mobile phones: some South African experiences and experiments Harry Dugmore MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communications Knight News Challenge Iindaba Ziyafika (‘the news is coming’) project coordinator School of Journalism and Media Studies Rhodes University, South Africa
Core challenge is that we are (like everyone) operating in a fast moving techno-social flux • Very low but rapidly improving broadband access, doubling almost annually off a low base • Rapid uptake of cell phones. Almost 100% family access to cell phones in South Africa. • Rapidly growing ability of phones to access mobile web, phones are getting smarter, faster. • But hugely expensive in a poor continent and costs not coming down as fast or far as needed • Low media and journalism density. • USG input, and pared down and cheap outputs still beats fast and richly featured outputs and professional content in the news and info space
Rapid uptake of cell phones. Almost 100% family access to cell phones in SA
A big set of questions: How to help create ‘informed, engaged communities’ in often undemocratic and resource poor contexts, with low levels of expensive, slow broadband, and still make money (or at least breakeven!)?
Induce and publish more and more audience generated input, and create low bandwidth and cheap mobile outputs (rather than 100% professional produced fast and richly featured outputs) • Solutions in three areas: • Train citizen journalists, offer incentives and use more of their journalism. • Use SMS/texts and Instant Messaging to supply news and information. • Embracing low cost social media as critical to the ‘news will find me’ culture
Iindaba Ziyafika (‘the news is coming!’)
20 million users! 20 million log-ons per day! 250 million messages sent and received per day!
KENYA • Yahoo • Google.ke • Google • Facebook • Windows Live • MSN • Youtube • Blogger • Wikipedia • Tagged • ZA • Google.co.za • Facebook • Google • Yahoo • Youtube • Wikipedia • News24 • Blogger • Gumtree • MSN • NIGERIA • Yahoo • Facebook • Google.com • Google.com.ng • Windows Live • Youtube • MSN • Wikipedia • Blogger • Vmn.net • MADAGASCAR • Yahoo • Google.mg • Google.fr • Google • Facebook • Moov.mg • Sobika • Windows Live • Free • MSN
Facebook etc & social media Facebook etc and social media Sms/aka texts news & info Sms/aka texts Instant messaging news & info Instant messaging
Embrace user generated input and provide training, editing, and even some cash incentives. • Shift to mobile/web news first and print second strategies. • Get content in and out through multiple, mobile friendly platforms -- and use social media like crazy.
Thank you! Professor. Harry Dugmore MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communications School of Journalism and Media Studies Rhodes University Grahamstown South Africa email: H.Dugmore@ru.ac.za (w) (27) 046-603-7136 cell: (27) 082-885-7537 email@example.com Skype address: harrydugmore