Scores of bloggers and citizen journalists at the 2021 Ghana Bloggers Summit in Accra, Ghana, were introduced to the innovative GhanaWeb Reporter platform built by AfricaWeb to democratise journalism and support content creators to make a living.
Editor-in-Chief of AfricaWeb, Ismail Akwei, took the participants through the features and benefits of the GhanaWeb Reporter in a presentation under the topic: the future of digital publishing and the promotion of citizen journalism.
GhanaWeb Reporter aims to empower niche journalists and bloggers to reach a larger audience with their relevant content and make money through GhanaWeb’s innovative advertising tools, Ismail Akwei explained at the event held on December 4, 2021.
“We want people to have niche content; we want to promote journalism especially citizen journalism. With the Reporter, you can use it from anywhere in Ghana if you can write and you are concerned about the issues that are happening in your region. You can start by shooting videos, recording audios, taking photos and then publishing them via the Reporter.
“You don’t need to call anyone at GhanaWeb or look for somebody who might say ‘can you pay me some money to link you to them and get your content online.’ After you take the picture of what you’ve seen or don’t like, you just have to share it through the Reporter. It will appear on your personal page and then GhanaWeb will also promote that page for you for a lot of people to see your content,” Ismail Akwei told the bloggers.
He reaffirmed that the platform is accessible to the general public, bloggers and citizen journalists as well as celebrities and influencers who can share content onto their dedicated pages by uploading through the Reporter on the GhanaWeb App. “The content would be screened and published. It would be displayed on your dedicated page and also displayed on the Wall section of GhanaWeb,” he said.
Another significant feature of the GhanaWeb Reporter is the ability to share content and posts directly from social networking sites to the Reporter. “You may have a YouTube video or Facebook post that you want to share with your audience on GhanaWeb. All you have to do is to hit the share button on the post on YouTube or Facebook and then select the GhanaWeb Reporter. This will share the post onto your personal page after it is screened,” he added.
Ismail Akwei highlighted how the GhanaWeb Reporter can help content creators and bloggers with specialised blogs to make some money. “On their specialised blogs, they can generate revenue through self-service advertisement spaces. Those with high traffic would also make money from revenue sharing of programmatic advertising sold on their blogs,” he said.
He concluded that the GhanaWeb Reporter is a gamechanger in Ghana and Africa that would give millions of audiences direct access to community news produced by citizen journalists and content creators who would have the ability to track pageviews and earnings directly from the App. The audience can also engage with content creators by sending them direct messages and commenting on their content via the same platform.
“This is the way to bring digital publishing to the forefront in Ghana to put back the power in the hands of bloggers, in the hands of citizen journalists, in the hands of individuals who feel they have a lot of things to say; individuals who feel it’s time to have their voices heard. With GhanaWeb, you would have about 4 million people following and consuming your content if your content has a lot of interesting angles and interesting things out there that you could share with people. This is what the GhanaWeb Reporter is all about,” he elaborated.
Meanwhile, 10 lucky bloggers who participated in the GhanaWeb Reporter contest have been selected and offered specialised blogs to share their niche content and earn some revenue by growing their blogs.
The ultimate winner of the GhanaWeb Reporter contest, Michael Agyapong, was presented a cash prize of GHc2,000 cedis at the 2021 Ghana Bloggers Summit for his winning blog post which was about a farming community in a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana where residents and livestock share the same source of water. He won the ultimate prize based on the relevance, quality and impact of the story after it was published.
Specialised blogs would be made available to bloggers, citizen journalists, celebrities and influencers on request and if they meet GhanaWeb’s qualification requirements.
GhanaWeb Reporter is a distinctive feature of the GhanaWeb App which is available for free download from the Google Play Store and App Store. In 2020, the GhanaWeb Reporter won the GNI Innovation Challenges award by the Google News Initiative (GNI) as part of Google’s commitment to helping journalism thrive in the digital age and to see news innovators step forward with new thinking