Ethan Zuckerman writes:
The journalists behind the Lindaba Ziyafika project are largely unemployed adults in their early 20s. They’re producing content that’s ending up in the 140 year old newspaper that serves Grahamstown. The content is distributed first via online media – SMS, messages through systems like MXit (an incredibly clever hack that uses the cheaper data connectivity available on African cellphones to evade the huge expenses of SMS messages), Twitter and Facebook. Facebook is now the most used site in South Africa, and Twitter is the 9th. […]
What can we learn from the project? Making citizen media work in poor countries requires:
– heavy training and some cash incentives for participants
– mobile news first, print second
– embrace of mobile-friendly platforms
In the long run, revenue may come from time-sensitive advertising – coupons that expire quickly, requiring users to watch closely and act fact – 50% off bananas at the local market… now 49%, now 48%. They’re just starting to implement this and waiting to see what comes next.
What from that plan isn’t also applicable to the United States, with its failing old media business models, high youth unemployment, and high cell phone penetration?