Reporter Ron Nixon of the New York Times recently sat down with me to discuss the future of journalism and his own project, Ujima.
What is Ujima? From the project’s website:
The Ujima Project is a new experiment in journalistic transparency. The Web site offers African journalists, nongovernmental organizations and others seeking factual data access to information that is not readily available in many African countries. The project operates on the premise of reverse transparency, taking database, documents and other information from donor countries — The United States, European Union, for example — and providing it in an easily searchable manner. Want to know what NGOs are doing in your country? The Ujima Project can provide some of the answers. Want to know how much your government is spending to influence policy in the United States or to promote its image abroad? The Ujima Project can assist with that as well.
One blogger’s reaction:
Pulling a thread on the Ujima database can take you to the most unexpected dark places, where dirty secrets are kept, and show you the most unlikely bed partners. And that’s what’s so fascinating about it, and so outrageous at the same time. I truly hope that many journalists will feel the same way and make good use of all that info.
So it’s basically an invaluable treasure chest of data on the flow of money to and from Africa, mostly related to aid but not only.
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