We hope to create a one stop repository to learn, connect and share with the online community the other side of Pakistan. We will explore our culture, food, language, arts, people, lifestyle, literature and social issues without devolving to politics as is the norm in the country. Due to sectarian issues, national security and the creeping extremist narrative we feel there is a thirst for something else. All those small miracles, those causes worth celebrating entirely through the eyes of citizen journalists, sharing and contributing their Pakistan through blogs, vlogs, photo diaries and more
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Nationwide teams (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore)
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
Jalaibi.com aims to provide a platform for all those who wish to write about Pakistan or those Pakistanis who wish to write about their passions. Where majority of the media have a definite political slant jalaibi.com will provide a voice for the rest of society. There are individuals who have attempted to have their voice heard through individual blogs however the noise of all other Pakistan related stories drowns this out. While scouring major media outlets for stories about Pakistan most of the content speaks about instability, unrest, poverty ignoring the vibrant art, software boom, entrepreneurs, scientific research. We hope to offer the world a view of that window.
The target population is ‘net savvy and majority population has access to the internet through PCs or mobile phones.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
Amena Aly Kamaal: communication expert, people connector (https://twitter.com/pichkee)
Arslan Akbar: photography, videography and online security (https://twitter.com/arslanvj)
Faisal Kapadia: digital media guru (https://twitter.com/faisalkapadia)
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
Our content will be a true reflection of exactly what our contributors wish to share and what our readership would like to see. This will be through photographs, eye-witness accounts, videos, livestreams and blogs. The stories will cover everything including arts, culture, education, sports and entertainment without delving into politics. We will also produce short films on the lives of regular Pakistanis, and the brilliance they personify. Jalaibi.com will allow for commentary by readers and we hope to continue this engagement by continually expanding our contributor base and incorporating suggestions by users. We shall communicate in English primarily, but will also celebrate Urdu, Pushto, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi and other regional languages.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
We have already begun to reach out to those Paksitanis who are active in society, run their own blogs or have an online presence who we hope to become a part of jalaibi.com and channel their brilliance through this platform.
With the help of the grant we wish to attract more such individuals who we will train on the art of writing blogs and being a citizen journalist. By successfully connecting a diverse team of bloggers and other experts through jalaibi.com we can ensure the content developed is of a high quality and usable through mass media outlets as required while attracting a large base of domestic and international readership.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We shall initially conduct two workshops with the capacity for upto 10 bloggers each. This event will be livestreamed on jalaibi.com to reach a wider audience. The training shall focus on citizen journalism, how to write entertaining and captivating posts, basic training for podcasts and video posts all with a strong emphasis on ethical and truthful journalism/authorship. We aim to attract those individuals who display an interest in writing and producing digital content and are enthusiastic and driven enough to realise their own potential.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We will encourage contributors to use all available technologies be able to tell their story in the best way possible. We will train participants how to design and edit their articles using media such as photographs, videos, animations, html5 as well as how to use their mobile phones to create content. We will be laying the groundwork for some truly exceptional journalistic potential. As a communications specialist, I believe I can guide the contributors as to how to express themselves properly and how to make palatable content. With a strong team who specialise in communication, digital media and photography I am certain we can inspire some great content and raise the bar for citizen journalism in the country.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Kuch Khaas (http://www.kuchkhaas.org/) Islamabad
Kuch Khaas is a fully equipped facility which has hosted TED talks in the past and attracts our target bloggers on a regular basis. They have corporate bandwidth broadband connection for livestreaming.
The Second Floor (http://www.t2f.biz/) Karachi
A community space like Kuch Khaas, T2F also hosts blogger meetups and many other events. All meeting rooms are wifi enabled and multimedia projectors, A/V equipment and all other equipment necessary for the workshop.
We will encourage participants to bring their own laptops if they have them, if not we shall be purchasing 2 floating laptops to be used by those who come without.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
As a citizen of Pakistan I believe it it my duty, as well as my fellow citizens to contribute what we can to society. In a day and age where media has infiltrated into every aspect of our lives, the subject matter which falls under the media's radar is often neglected by all.
It is our hope that through jalaibi.com we can be the Rising Voice for the other side of the news and celebrate our country and its people to strengthen our community bonds. We have lived in Pakistan through its darkest hours, which is why I feel we are best suited to find the silver lining in our lives and share that with the world.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
Internet censorship is rife within Pakistan, existing blog sites expect their contributors to ensure a predetermined message is being sent across. It is possible that jalaibi.com faces backlash from certain elements of society as we shall not censor what our contributors wish to talk about. We will however limit the possible negative reaction by staying clear of any political content.
Another challenge will be to keep contributors motivated. After a few blogs, the supply of stories may taper. We hope to counter this by offering a monetary reward for the “post of the week” based on maximum readership and comments.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
The first point of success will be measured through contributor participation. If the volume of stories stays steady or increases we would have succeeded in capturing a captive audience and source. The second measure will be made through analyses of individual posts and general comments received by jaliabi.com if we manage to initiate conversations about certain stories it will enhance the reputation of the site and encourage sharing through social media thereby increasing readership. We will listen to the response that stories generate and decipher engagement levels and popularity through them.
The gold standard will be approval from the local or global media community who may approach us to use our content on their established platforms.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
If jalaibi.com receives this microgrant, we will attempt to adhere to the following timelines:
May 1st – May 10th – Website design
May 10th – May 15th – Identify and contact interested participants
May16th- Workshop in Karachi
May 20th- Workshop in Islamabad
May 20th- June 1st – receiving and editing content from workshop participants
June 1st- Teaser campaign to begin on social media
June 15th – jalaibi.com will launch
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Web designer cost- USD 500
Workshops (2 sessions, location only)- USD 600
(Faisal Kapadia our Digital Media expert will conduct these sessions free of cost)
Livestreaming and video equipment USD 200 (include a camera and USB modem)
Teaser campaign and advertisement on digital media USD 200
2 Laptops dedicated to managing the website- USD 700
Stipend for popular bloggers over a 6 month period- USD 300
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
The microgrant will kickstart our operations through workshops and website development. Once we have a steady stream of traffic we will look to share this with the Rising Voices community and hope to gain constructive feedback which will enable us to cater to what people want to read.
This will be a continuous process of feedback and reassessment and we hope ultimately that Rising Voices will be able to showcase jalaibi.com as a best practice and open doors for our citizen journalism in the international community.
Sarah Tariq Hassan