Getting published local news in Kenya is next to non-existent apart from in major cities and international news. Kenya’s HiviSasa, a a brain child of Africa-focused seed investment fund therefore launched in pilot in 2012 to fill the local news gap and within a few months, it had reached over 70,000 users.
So this morning, we were all smiles at TechMoran when we received word that HiviSasa.com
has relaunched and began Tuesday covering Nakuru County with a focus on the mobile version for the low-end phones to increase its reach.
In a statement to TechMoran, Chloe Spoerr
y said, “We’re getting between 10-20 articles from ‘citizen journalists’ per day. The first challenge is to increase this to about 100, and focus on getting good quality stuff. We’ve been publishing roughly 8 articles / day over the last week or so, some of them we wrote ourselves.”
With over 15,000 Facebook Likes, HiviSasa and a door-to-door approach to garner users, the news publication startup for county news is set to be big. Spoerry said the team will be spending some time in Nakuru this coming week to talk to universities, police stations, businesses to convince them to report news to to HiviSasa.
Chloe added that the local news startup tailored for the mobile population in the rural areas also aims at rewarding the community by offering a non-centralized news channel and by leveraging the energy and passion of young professionals and journalists to write news from their community. HiviSasa.com
articles are fact-checked and polished by its competent editorial team and local contributors who are paid Ksh 100 (USD 1) per published article via mobile money.
The platform aims to keep citizens informed about their home towns and follow local opportunities, and also use it as a direct voice to develop their communities. HiviSasa.com
will make money from native advertisements and classified ads and content syndication partnerships and later extend to cover all counties in Kenya.