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Wikimedia Foundation calls African Journalists to apply for ‘Open the Knowledge’ award

Wikimedia Foundation calls African Journalists to apply for ‘Open the Knowledge’ award

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisations that operates Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, launched the inaugural Open the Knowledge Journalism Awards on 03 May. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, this year’s awards celebrate the contribution of journalists in Africa who prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion in their reporting.

The Foundation said the Award nominations for stories that help to expand knowledge about Africa by African journalist are open from 3 May-30 June. “The Awards aim to inspire African journalists to embrace diversity and contribute to a more informed and equitable global society,” they added.

The informed that nomination for the Awards can be submitted at https:/ “Articles by African journalists living on the continent can be submitted under arts, culture, heritage, sports, health, climate change, environment, women, youth digital and human rights. Articles must have been published online and in English between 1 January 2022 and 23 June 2023,” stated the Foundation.

They highlighted that the award recipients will be announced by the Foundation at the Africa Regional Community Conference, WikiIndaba in November. “The first place award recipient will receive US$2000, as well as an opportunity to attend WikiIndaba 2023 in Morocco, where they can share more about their work and accept a trophy and certificate of recognition. The second place award recipient will receive US$1500 and a certificate of recognition, while four other outstanding nominees will receives special mentions,” they added.

The awards invite nominations for articles written by African journalists that help to close knowledge gaps on Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. “Because only 2.5% of geotagged content on Wikipedia covers Africa and only 15% of articles on Wikipedia are about Africa, which reflects knowledge gaps in the wider media ecosystem, new information can only be added to Wikipedia by volunteer editors if it is supported by a citation from a published and reliable source,” Wikimedia emphasised.

Wikimedia emphasised that the awards capture the spirit of World Press Freedom, which highlight the importance of a free press as essential to amplifying diverse voices and experiences and it also aligns with one of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 goals, which seeks to increase local content in all print and electronic media to 60%.

Wikimedia Foundation Vice-President of Communication, Anusha Alikhan said, Journalists play a vital role in increasing equity on Wikipedia, ensuring that the world’s knowledge is not limited to the perspectives and experiences of a select few. “Through Open the Knowledge Journalism Awards we want to celebrate these efforts, shining a light on reporting that helps to close knowledge gaps and uncovers more of Africa’s rich history and culture,” she concluded.

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