Introducing NikaNOW: A Mobile Platform for Hyperlocal Media in South Africa

  • Lorenzo Dalvit
  • Steve Kromberg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 119)


This paper looks at NikaNOW, a turn-key solution for hyperlocal media organisations wishing to enter the online space. The system is optimised for use on mobile phones within the African context. NikaNOW is characterised by a strong focus on locality and immediacy and aims to promote local businesses and civic engagement. The first instance, based in Grahamstown (South Africa), has been operating for two years. Uptake has been good and a number of lessons have been learnt. The project has displayed technological innovation as well as useful content production and service awareness.It has been found that traffic is driven mainly by young and affluent users through a desktop connection which is contrary to original expectations of a mobile site. The core of the project is the presence of advertising initiatives such as competitions and special offers. This has resulted in a sustainable example of thinking locally and acting globally.


mobile services hyperlocal community media journalism 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Science, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenzo Dalvit
    • 1
  • Steve Kromberg
    • 1
  1. 1.MTN Chair of Media and Mobile Communication, Grocott’s Mail, School of Journalism and Media StudiesRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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