FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.
The idea came as the main founder of the project, Hanan Solayman, observed models of successful independent local media on internet. These were The Bay Citizen in San Francisco (Bay area) and Chicago News CoOp in Chicago in the United States. Some professional journalists who have decades of experience in prestigious newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post left their old jobs and moved to found aspiring local media models.
The "Aha!" moment came after estimating the impact of such local models on Egypt's future fostering freedom of expression and free media values. Even after the revolution, the project gains more momentum especially as the country is in a vital political transition.
As Egypt moves closer to historical elections, media is entitled to play a huge role in the big transformation Egypt is enduring during its path to democracy. Accordingly, local media should be fostered and empowered enough to contribute to this transformation.
Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date
We have conducted an opinion poll in 5 of the 11 governorates (500 people asked) to know what they need from such portal. Other data was collected from studies conducted by research centers, Media & Communication faculties or interviews with working journalists in Upper Egypt or activists in NGOs based in Upper Egypt. This will help in establishing our website knowing our audience needs.
Results of the poll shows:
• 80% of the surveyed Upper Egyptians had between 0-10 internet users among their family and friends with 60% saying they had between 5-10.
• 73% preferred print newspapers as media outlets followed by 19% who preferred internet & 6% said they use both sources.
• Preferred print newspapers were al-Masry Al-Youm (57%) then Al-Ahram (35%) followed by other state-owned newspapers like el-Gomhoriya and el-Akhbar.
• Internet usage came as follows: 68% use Facebook and Twitter, 11% used social forums and 5% both.
• International affairs came in the first rank as preferred followed news with 45% followed by 42% for crime, 35% sport, 30% national news, 24% for local news.
What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?
The impact in 5 years will be having a vibrant successful local media website in Upper Egypt that mainstream media, centered around Cairo, will turn to for news, updates and exclusive stories from that region. Upper Egyptians will have a media window that represents them which also provides them a platform to blog and develop their citizen journalism skills. Professional journalists will also find a working environment that encourages them to stay in their Upper Egyptian communities instead of moving to Cairo to find a good career in journalism.
Becoming a model for local independent journalism is an aim we aspire for hoping that our experience can be of good reference through manuals we intend to put in the future to expand the local media market.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Getting started and make a strong presence.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Build partnerships with mainstream media in Egypt as well as Arab and international media.