We have pitched for funding from CodeForAfrica for an essential project: partnering with students and graduates to help them get paid work experience, and to provide the news media with services it needs.
Newsrooms around the country are in dire need of specialised services that we can't afford, and our young people need a platform to show how good they are at their jobs. So we decided to create that bridge. Data stories with beautiful visualisation — often some of the most important stories to tell — take time that few newsrooms, if any, can afford; special skills; a strong supporting editorial team and, most importantly, money.
We will need skills from data scrapers, animators and sound engineers, to investigative and radio journalists, designers, developers and everything in between.
The Huffington Post Innovation Hub will give a platform to black South African graduates and students from tertiary institutions to do paid work for the different story types we want to create. We will need skills from data scrapers, animators and sound engineers, to investigative and radio journalists, designers, developers and everything in between to create amazing narratives in various formats. We will do this with staff journalists as well as freelancers looking to expand their work into data, visual storytelling, and other story projects.
We need the funding to provide the students with a stipend for their work. They will in addition receive editorial, managerial and technical support from us, as well as project experience for their CVs that will tick the much-dreaded experience box on job applications. We will fairly compensate students for their work. We hope to take this idea around the country, and eventually the continent, as a model that will offset newsrooms' growing demands and dwindling budgets, as well as young people's inability to find paid work.
But we can't do this alone. We need you — the students and journalists who want to be part of this — to express how crucial this opportunity could be for you. All you have to do is tag us in a tweet stating your interest in this project with #InnovateAfrica, or put a post expressing your excitement at the prospect of working on such a project on Innovate Africa's Facebook page. The more you and your friends pledge, the more likely we are to get the funding.
Thank you in advance for your help.