e-News & Journalism, Winner 2015
Name of Project: Integrity Idol Nepal
Project Website: www.integrityidol.org
Name of Organization: Accountability Lab
Organization Website: www.accountabilitylab.org
Using social media to honour honest bureaucrats in Nepal
Accountability Lab Nepal is an affiliate of the US-based The Accountability Lab. In 2014, Accountability Lab Nepal created an innovative campaign, Integrity Idol, to get to the root of corruption in Nepal by honouring positive role models in the bureaucracy. This national campaign gives citizens a platform to nominate and vote for honest civil servants. The campaign was a great success, with over 300 nominations of civil servants across the country, over 25 lakh viewers of film profiling the top five candidates on national television, more than 10,000 votes for the winner, and hundreds of attendees at the final award ceremony. This unique campaign has helped generate national and international debate around the importance of honesty, personal responsibility and accountability. The organisation claims that the success of the campaign was made possible by the use of social media. Throughout 2014, Accountability Lab Nepal’s team promoted Integrity Idol across Facebook, with public service announcements, instructions on the nomination process, photos of the Integrity Idol volunteers hard at work, links to inspiring articles about accountability, and more. Then in December 2014, the five shortlisted candidates were announced and videos and profiles of each candidate were posted on their Facebook pages. People could vote through a ‘like’ on the respective Facebook post with photograph and biography of a particular candidate, or by texting a short code promoted on the Facebook page. During that peak voting time, one post received as much as 1,444 likes, 448 comments, 312 shares and 38,752 people reached organically. We received 3,279 votes via Facebook likes and messages. Accountability Lab Nepal has now launched the 2015 Integrity Idol campaign. The number of nominations this year has grown to over 500 from 300 in 2014. The Integrity Idol campaign has now been introduced in Pakistan and Liberia.
Name of Project: The Optimist Citizen
Project Website: www.theoptimistcitizen.com
Name of Organization: The Optimist Citizen
Organization Website: www.theoptimistcitizen.com
Online and offline newspaper publishing only positive news
Launched in October 2014, ‘The Optimist Citizen’ is an online and print media newspaper that focuses on presenting positive news ranging from inspiring stories, to stories of unsung heroes, to good governance, achievements, acts of courage, and everything that can create optimism and bring back hope in society. The newspaper seeks to publish positive news, demonstrating the best of humankind, even in difficult and tragic situations. This is an initiative to revive what the publishers believe is the essence of news and journalism, that is, to create awareness, generate hope, publish the truth and bring about change. The Optimist Citizen also claims to be the world’s first “open source good newspaper” where citizens of the world come together, form their own clouds (online) of common interest, and write positive stories and news. Since it is a fortnightly newspaper, it has a segment called Newzine (self-named) wherein they provide magazine-like stories in the form of a newspaper. It is collaborating with all positive news websites and blogs to bring their stories to the print version through the newspaper. Its subscription cost is much less than that of other newspapers in the market. It has a unique presentation technique as they distribute the newspapers wrapped in scented ribbons so that it gives an aroma of happiness when opened. At present, the print version has readers spread across Bhopal, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. The paper mainly caters to the youth and the working population of the country who are tired of reading negative news in the newspapers and other mainstream media platforms. It has published more than 500 positive stories as of now and has reached about 3,500-4,000 readers through the physical newspapers and more than 10 lakh people through its online presence. It reaches almost 4,000 unique visitors every day through its website, Facebook page and Twitter.
Name of Project: EdTechReview
Project Website: www.edtechreview.in
Name of Organization: Eduvative Technologies LLP
Organization Website: www.eduvative.in
Media platform connecting people involved in educational technology
Launched in February 2013, EdTechReview (www.edtechreview.in ) is a media platform and community for everyone involved in educational technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilise and share the best ways technology can help improve learning, teaching and leading in the 21st century. EdTechReview spreads awareness on education technology and its role in the 21st century education through information on best research and practices of using technology in education, and by facilitating events, training, professional development, and consultation for its adoption and implementation. EdTechReview is India’s only media platform focusing on the niche and growing need of Educational Technology. With its research since 2012, it has understood the educational technology market globally and, in the context of the education sector in India, delivers its news, insights and resources online; free conferences to spark the change through digital leadership, effective technology adoption and implementation in educational institutions across schools, colleges and universities. It also guides the development of resources and services through meaningful partnerships to support the community. Its users include students, parents, teachers, educators,
administrators, decision makers, education entrepreneurs and start ups, education investors, education and business leaders, policy makers, govt. officials, researchers and scholars, education trainers and consultants. The website currently has over 3,00,000 visitors, over 31,000 subscribers, more than 50 corporate clients and over 500 institutional clients through events. So far it has organised five EdTech conferences in Delhi and Bangalore and is coming up with 4 more for different stakeholders. It has over 20,000 organic social media followers. It earns revenues through advertising as well as various fees and sponsorships from its training services and events.
Name of Project: I am in DNA of India
Project Website: www.iamin.in
Name of Organization: Zee Digital Convergence Limited
Organization Website: www.iamin.in
Media platform focusing on local news to ensure accountability
Launched in April 2014, I am in DNA of India is an online media initiative that focuses on local level accountability and stories that steer change at the level of local constituencies. Harnessing the strength and reach of a media organisation, it aims to mobilise people on locally relevant development issues. With dedicated blogs and sections for user generated content at a local, parliamentary constituency level, www.iamin.in is a platform that promotes community-based journalism. The various sections of the website are populated with content that empower citizens by making them aware of their rights, entitlements and essential government services and with committed resources that focus on stories of changemakers, social entrepreneurs, local heroes and under-reported issues. It seeks to go back to the original form of community journalism that informs, empowers, educates, and sets local accountability. It also aims to connect citizens who intend to do good and give back to the community with credible organisations, causes and businesses to create an eco-system that is sustainable and self-sufficient. The eventual aim of the platform is to reach out to all the 543 parliamentary constituencies. So far, it has reached 36 constituencies across India, with a team of three journalists dedicated to each constituency. This team, each day, connects with members of the local communities and their representatives, reports their issues, successes and achievements and brings them online. It puts out more than 200 hundred stories each day. It also follows up on government bodies and representatives. It runs very specific campaigns on chronic local issues like state of primary schools, women safety, collateral damages on traditional practices, underreported stories and community concerns. The project regularly helps members of the community connect with organisations and stakeholders who can help/work with them to solve an issue or scale-up an initiative.