Wanted: Innovations to shake up Africa's news media (CONTEST)

Wanted: Innovations to shake up Africa's news media (CONTEST)

The African Media Initiative is looking for ways to make sure Africa's future media will be owned in part by Africans. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/15439598@N03/3676200550/">Internnews Network (Flickr)</a>
The African Media Initiative is looking for ways to make sure Africa's future media will be owned in part by Africans. Photo: Internnews Network (Flickr)

As the world's news media shift from broadsheets and broadcasts to bits and bytes, the charitable arms of America's digital elite don't want Africans to be left behind.

So the Gates Foundation and Omidyar Network, whose fortunes came from business wizards at Microsoft and eBay, are joining with Google and others to fund the African News Innovation Challenge, a small grant program to foster disruptive new ideas that can keep Africans informed.

Winners, who must be Africans or business partners of Africans, receive $12,000 to $100,000 cash to be spent "developing, testing and scaling a new digital news venture or product." They'll also get technical, developmental and marketing support from the lead organization, the African Media Initiative.

The new contest is deeply reminiscent of the Knight News Challenge here in the States—right down to the Tumblr homepage—and it's part of a sophisticated agenda by AMI for building an information ecosystem by and for Africans.

Application deadline: July 10. Hop to it, future moguls.

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