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Free WiFi grows Citizen Journalism in the City of Tshwane

Project Isizwe, a non-profit organisation that aims to bring the internet to people across South Africa, said on Wednesday it is encouraged that citizen journalism using video news is rapidly growing in the City of Tshwane on the back of free WiFi.

Citizen journalism is provided through WiFi TV, a video-on-demand service of relevant and engaging video content distributed over the Tshwane Free WiFi network that the City of Tshwane has provided for its citizens.

The WiFi TV service offers 5 channels and hosts content created by young film makers living in the various areas of the City of Tshwane providing the local communities with a voice and informing them about what is happening within their communities.

Driven by the need to tell their stories, WiFi TV in the City of Tshwane reached a record-setting 306 000 unique views in January 2015, pushing total views to a whopping 640 000 since the service was launched on the 3rd of November 2014. On the “My City” channel alone, 320 000 views have been logged so far.

“It seems hard to believe that not too long ago, the general public in the City of Tshwane had no real access to free WiFi. Today they are setting records with high-quality videos that are streamed via WiFi TV to be viewed by everyone,” said Alan Knott-Craig Jr, Founder and CEO of Project Isizwe.

WiFi TV is a hyper localized video-on-demand solution enabled for unlimited access to users of the Tshwane Free WiFi service.

To continue to interact with all the stakeholders of the City of Tshwane, WiFi TV through the “My City” channel will be asking the citizens of the city to put forward one question to the Executive Mayor, Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa. These questions will be answered by the Executive Mayor on WiFi TV.

“We are proud of WiFi TV and can only thank the City of Tshwane for making it easy for its citizens to access free WiFi. We believe WiFi TV is engaging, educating and empowering the citizens of the City of Tshwane. We  hope that this will contribute in bridging the digital divide and making the lives of  people better and  providing entertainment to  communities.” says Alan Knott-Craig Jr.

WiFi TV enables the City of Tshwane to get further insight into the lives of its citizens and communicate directly with them via video without being restricted by the data costs traditionally involved in video delivery.

Access to the bouquet is zero-rated on the free WiFi network developed by Project Isizwe and via the initiative’s Tobetsa online portal.

The WiFi TV service was initially launched with 4 channels: Att’ville, CBD, Mams and Sosh. Later, a 5th channel, “My City” was included featuring news and information from the City. In the future, additional channels will be added to WiFi TV offering additional relevant content to people.

“We believe WiFi TV is adding more value to the citizens of Tshwane and we will continue to support them,” concludes Knott-Craig Jr.

Author Bio

Project Isizwe
Project Isizwe (Zulu translation for ‘nation’, ‘tribe’, ‘people’) is a non-profit organisation, which aims to bring the Internet to people across South Africa, by facilitating the rollout of Free WiFi for public spaces in low-income communities. More