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The Conversation to launch in Africa with funding from Bill Gates foundation

Andrew Jaspan

Andrew Jaspan

Academia meets journalism website The Conversation is set to expand into Africa from next month aided by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It is the fourth territory the site, founded by Andrew Jaspan, has pushed into following its launch in Australia in 2011, a move to the UK in 2013 and the USA in 2014.

The newsroom will be based in the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, although it is also seeking bases in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and Lagos, Nigeria, and it will be led by former Financial Mail editor Caroline Southey.

ConversationThe Conversation publishes essays and articles from academics on current affairs and relevant social issues, and circulates them in a free morning email to subscribers. It operates under Creative Commons allowing any other website to republish the work.

Announcing the launch a statement said: “TC-Africa will follow The Conversation‘s editorial protocols that are designed to rebuild trust in information and help readers make informed decisions. These include a charter that protects editorial independence, author sign off, author disclosure statements, an inbuilt readability index set to an educated 16 year old, and collaborative editing on our safe publishing platform.”

Additional funding for the project has been granted by the South African National Research Foundation, and the Miami-based Knight Foundation.

The site also has an editor in Jakarta working with Indonesian universities, whilst Jaspan, a former editor of The Age, has also signalled a push into India would also happen at some point.

Alex Hayes

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