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Q&A: How new media are leading a revolution in Africa



In this interview, journalist and media strategist Justin Arenstein explains why innovative technology can work in a low-tech media landscape.
 
A difficult media landscape can trigger innovation in journalism and can encourage new business models. When a lack of investment and infrastructure are a burden to the conventional media industry, cheap information technology and human creativity can work together to revolutionise journalism and its potential for enterprise.
 
In a panel session at the International Journalism Festival 2014 (30 April to 4 May) in Perugia, Italy, Arenstein explained how technologically savvy African journalists and activists are building online databases by digitising public records, developing mobile phone apps to monitor the quality of health services, and using mobile phones to spread news.
 
Arenstein, is a former investigative journalist now working as a consultant for Google and the US-based International Centre for Journalists, also said that increased open-access capacity can generate economic value. He explained that companies and public bodies can use the vast amounts of data generated in our modern world - known as ‘big data’- to provide services.