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At this year’s Highway Africa there is a lot of discussion around new media and its possibilities. Speaker Indra De Lanerolle has extensive experience in internet and mobile communications, focusing specifically on the effect they have on the mass media.
He speaks to Elna Schütz about what telecommunications mean for journalists and their audiences.

The Telkom Highway Africa New Media Awards are held yearly to reward innovative use of ICTs in Africa. This year’s finalists are Nigel Mugamu (Zimbabwe) and Jaco Liebenberg (South Africa) in the category for Innovative use of Technology for Community Engagement; John Mokwetsi (Zimbabwe) and Prof Anton Harber (South Africa) for Innovative Newsroom; and Dorothy Dadedjo Fouba (Cameroon) and Limbikani Makani Kabweza (Zimbabwe) for the Best IT Blog category. The Awards ceremony is to be held Monday 2 September at the Monument. Michelle Atagana, Managing Editor at Memeburn and one of this year’s judges, talks to Open Source’s Relebone Myambo about the Awards.

Today is the final day for Highway Africa Conference registrations!

Date of Conference : 17-19 September 2011

Venue : Cape Town ICC

The 2011 Theme: African Media and Global Sustainability Challenge

The dramatic melting down of the glaciers of the Arctic, the droughts ravaging Africa, the floods in the Americas and ever temperatures rises may have provided drama for television and other media but the issue of global sustainability calls for more drastic and comprehensive response from the media. Read the rest of this entry »

Unveiling the plaque for the Telkom Higway Africa Building, Rhodes University, Grahamstown

L-R Dr. Mabizela, Rhodes University, Mr Yeye, SABC Eastern Cape & Mrs Kali Telkom

The official opening of the Telkom Highway Africa Building was officiated by Dr. Sizwe Mabizela,  Dr Sizwe Mabizela, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs Rhodes University and Mrs Brenda Kali, Telkom Group Executive: Group Communicaqtion and Brand.  Mabizela thanked Telkom for the long standing relationship it has formed with Rhodes University stating that the relationship between Corporate and Academia was vital for sustainable growth and development in Africa.  Kali, graciously accepted the gratitude however spoke emphatically about the role journalism plays in telling the stories of Africa.  Kali emphasised Telkom’s support for journalism and their committment thus far has made them proud to be associated with the high standard of Journalism produced in the industry of media.

Mr. Zola Yeye, Regional Manager, SABC Eastern Cape who was master of ceremonies for the days proceedings further  acknowledged SABC’s pride in the association with Highway Africa.  SABC will be covering the New Media Awards ceremony at the annual SABC Telkom Highway Africa Conference which will be held this year from the 17-19 September 2011, at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (ICC).

Telkom’s association with Rhodes University extends also to the Rhodes Univesity Computer Science Division.  Dr. Peter Clayton Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Development was also present at the official opening acknowledged to witness the ceremony alongside the academics of the Rhodes Univeristy School of Journalism and staff and students of the university. Director of Highway AFrica Chris Kabwato, Director of Highway Africa proudly looked on and acknowledged and applauded the opening with Professor Jane Duncan  Highway Africa Chair of Media and Information Society.

While it was a clear yet wind swept day, it can be said the ceremony was a total success enjoyed by all present.

Q.    Presently employed as?

A. CEO Zoopy Pty Ltd

Q.    Explain the nature of your business or your role within New Media  and print in your case?

A. Zoopy is a mobile video entertainment platform that delivers bite-sized videos of the latest news, sports and entertainment created especially for mobile, so your phone will love it! Zoopy delivers The World In 90 Seconds to hundreds of thousands of users a month, many of whom don’t have access to computers or televisions for that matter.
oopy is a mobile video tabloid, delivering The World in 90 Seconds across news, sports and entertainment.

Q.    Location of your business or company?  

A. Our head office is in Cape town and we have a regional content office in Johannesburg as well.

Q.    Links to your website/s?

A. Visit our mobi site (or website if you prefer) at http://www.zoopy.com. And look for the links on our site to download our iPhone, Blackberry and Android apps.

Q.    How do you see new media playing itself out in the future, what will be your contribution to the industry looking towards the future now?

A. In a sense, new media is not so new anymore. There will always be something extra, something different, something that provides a new spin on something old. But  multimedia and sharing are now part and parcel of our lives. Just about any site doing business on the web or mobile needs to be thinking of how to provide the tools and opportunities to bring their community together through sharing and collaboration – and photos and videos are an integral part of the process. As far as Zoopy’s contribution goes, we’re bringing quality video entertainment, produced at a professional level, to the mobile medium which has largely presented users with one of two options: (1) really poor quality content; or (2) more recently, TV episodes. What we create is made for mobile from the start. Short, sharp and interesting. As far as my personal contribution, I’ll always be involved in the online and mobile industries, wherever the journey make take us all 🙂

Q.    To new comers how should they structure their time with new media namely blogging, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. For people whose industry does not involve any form of media,  how do they manage their time and not become overwhelmed?

A. This is an interesting question, because many people are starting to suffer from what’s being called ‘social media fatigue. Google Plus has just popped up too, making the social media and networking space a very saturated one, and one that can sap both energy and time. The best advice would be to use the platforms for different things rather than trying to duplicate your efforts. Perhaps use Facebook for close family and friends, Twitter for the world at large (and as a news feed) and YouTube so that you link to your videos within Facebook and Twitter.

Q.    New Media is being used by children as young as five, that said,  it is clear if  you do not keep abreast with trends in new media you inclined to feel isolated from main stream living, what advice do you have for people who have lagged behind and would like to know where to begin?

A. The easiest way of keeping in touch with the latest general trends in this space would be to read daily updates at sites like Mashable.com and TechCrunch.com. But it’s also a good idea to sign up to Twitter and start following people in the industries you’re interested in.