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Nika Digital Newsroom

The New Media Lab is developing an open source solution for a multifunctional Content Management System that will help small and independent publishers take advantage of the digital age.

Known as Nika, which is the isiXhosa work for 'give', the product will ultimately be available to publishers and entrepreneurs free of charge. As it is an open source project, we hope that the project will create and be able to draw from a global community to develop into an adaptable and flexible product.

Nika has as its overarching objective the support and development of small and community newspapers. Phase 1 is under development and involves the creation of a database and Workflow Management System. Phase 2, which will begin in May, will be the development of a Content Management System that will allow content to be published on to the Web.

The Nika Digital Newsroom (DNR) was a winner of the AIP Media Innovation Awards in 2005.

Previous versions of the Digital Newsroom have been used to power the Cue website during the National Arts Festival in 2004 and 2005 and the Highway Africa News Agency website since its inception. A version of the CMS is also being used to run the online edition of Grocott's Mail, which was launched in 2006. These experiences will be drawn on in developing the latest version of Nika.

For more information, email Steve Lang