• Supernews is evolving and is in the  process of re-modelling. As a result, our news coverage will be intermittent. Please watch this space for exciting new changes. "CHANGE THE HEADLINES, AND YOU CHANGE SOUTH AFRICA." Welcome to Supernews, A Citizen-Generated News Network, and Super Stage, A Live Innovation Campus Platform

Need to Knows | FAQ

What’s Supernews all about?
Supernews is a multi-media, online, Citizen-Generated News & Idea Network. Go to About to find out more.

What kind of company is Supernews?
Supernews is a Non-Profit Section 21 Company, NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) and PBO (Public Benefit Organisation). Supernews will be piloted in South Africa and thereafter expand into Africa. It is based in Cape Town. (Co Reg #: 2010/000172/08; NPO #: 082-534-NPO; PBO #: 9300 343 94)

What is Citizen Journalism?
It’s “User- Generated Content or “Public Journalism,” or “We Media,” or “Outsourced Journalism” or “Participatory Journalism”.

What is CrowdSourcing?
Definition// Crowd-Sourcing is outsourcing on steroids! Simply put, it’s a distributed problem-solving and production model. Assignments or Challenges are broadcast to an unknown group of people in the form of an open call for participation. Users – also known as the crowd – typically form into online communities, and the crowd submits ideas. The crowd also sorts through the ideas, finding the best ones. This participation may be compensated monetarily, with rewards, with recognition or simply with one’s own intellectual satisfaction. Crowd-sourcing may produce solutions from amateurs or volunteers working in their spare time, or from experts or small businesses. (reference: Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe)

What is Crowd Funding?
Definition// Crowd-Funding, inspired by crowd-sourcing, is a term used to encompass the act of informally generating and distributing funds, usually online, from people who all happen to share an interest in funding a person, project, event, organization or campaign (eg: disaster relief, citizen journalism, artists seeking support from fans, political campaigns), replacing more traditional fundraising techniques with that of a more casual, yet powerful, approach based on crowd participation.  The Internet also allows for information to flow around the world, increasing awareness. (reference: Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe)

What is ‘the Supernews perspective’ and what makes this a Supernews story?
Your story qualifies if it’s
a) Newsworthy: interesting, informative, topical, relevant, influential, important, fresh, current
b) A Paradigm Shifter: offers a new perspective or original idea, is inspiring, innovative, uplifting, imaginative, creative, compelling, hopeful, has the potential to increase awareness, create change, have a positive impact on society, influence people to take action, start a new way of thinking.
Remember this is STILL EXISTING NEWS – it’s just reported from a NEW PERSPECTIVE. (eg: Report on where a new educational system is working – with a 100% pass rate vs. how many schools are failing within the current educational system)

I’m not a qualified journalist – can I still participate?
Absolutely! At Supernews we’re changing the way news is made & distributed by democratising the news-making process. In other words, we’re crowd-sourcing everyone around the country (and the world) who’ve got a ‘crew in their hand’ – or quite literally, a cell phone or digital camera or keyboard – to make up our Supernews Citizen Journalist Network. So whether you’re a mom, a soccer player, a filmmaker, a doctor, a sales clerk, a law student, a game ranger, a street sweeper, a CEO, a foreign expat or even a visiting tourist – consider yourself ‘a journalist in the making’. We’ll train you online how to write a news report, compose a photo, edit a video clip and much more – and in no time, you’ll be creating user-generated news content like a pro. Go to Training Tips and get started.

I can write well, but I’m no Henri Cartier-Bresson!
Click on Find a Crew to team up with fellow Super Citizen Journalists, photographers, camera operators, editors etc, for some skill power exchange that will help you report your story optimally.

Do news reports get vetted on supernews.co.za?
a) As a Super Citizen Journalist, your first THREE news reports are vetted and approved for content quality PRIOR to online publication by a team of back-end editors (so you will need to save each report as a DRAFT). Once you have a successful track record of THREE approved news reports, you’ll become a ‘trusted reporter’. Thereafter, your work will get published immediately. If on the other hand, you get an email with the subject line: ‘Back to the drawing board’, it means your news report needs improvement. So make sure you follow our Training Tips – and make us proud! PS: if you get flagged, or are reported for a violation, you could be waving goodbye – so please stick to the rules of the game. See our Code of Conduct for more info.
b) We can’t be everywhere or vet every single story, so we’re making you, the Supernews Community, our editing team at large. You can give us your input by offering a comment below the news report in question or you can email us on flag@supernews.co.za if you feel it violates the Supernews Code of Conduct. We’ll be alerted and our internal editing team will review it and decide whether to remove it completely or even disable the reporter’s Supernews account.

What are News Assignments?
These are story ideas from Supernews Producers and the Supernews Community, based on topics in the news or stories that Supernews wants to cover soon. If you’re looking for ideas about what to cover, this is a great place to start. You can see all of the active New Assignments on the Assignment Desk. The most compelling news reports in response to these New Assignments will get published on supernews.co.za.

How do I sign up as a Super Citizen Journalist if I am working in a team?
If you decide to work in a team for a particular story, you’ll need to sign up the ‘team name’ as a ‘Super Citizen Journalist profile’ – which will then be displayed next to your published news report. Even though you are creating a ‘team profile’, all team members need to be signed up as Super Citizen Journalists in their individual capacity in order for the team as a collective to get promoted to a Super Status and become eligible for Super Stuff.

What’s a Super Star?
As you climb the ranks as a Super Citizen Journalist, you’ll achieve different Super Status milestones, eg: ‘Go-Getter’ or Hot Shot, etc, which will be reflected by a title and a star next to your name and will influence your eligibility to receive Super Stuff. Your score is based on all your news report ratings over time and gets calculated according to a point system. The Supernews News Team will be checking your Super Status at the end of every month, to see if you’ve qualified for a promotion. If there’s no activity, it stays at the same level, but if there IS activity and it reaches the allocated point benchmark, you’ll get promoted to the next status level. Remember this is where you get to stand out from the crowd and where you ultimately become eligible for the SUPER rewards. You’ve got to stay on top of your game, because whether your scorecard goes up or plateaus, literally depends on your next news report.

How do I track my score?
As a Citizen Journalist, you’ll be able to access your scorecard on your personalised user profile page (next to your profile pic, top RHS of each webpage) so that you know how near or far you are from earning Super Star status and getting Super Stuff. Once you hit the mark, you’ll also get an automated email from supernews.co.za notifying you of your promotion so you can collect your Super Stuff.

How do I increase my rating score?
Spread the word about your news report and encourage the Supernews Public to rate your report. Go to Online Marketing for more info.

What are tags? And why do I need them on my news report?
Tags are short, descriptive words or phrases that help identify and group things together on the Web. (For example, a story about the Soccer World Cup might have these tags: 2010 Soccer World Cup, South Africa, FIFA.)

Will you notify me if you decide to air my clip?
Once you become a Super Star (Level 5), we’ll promote your work to mainstream media platforms for publication/broadcast opportunities. However the final decision rests with the publication/broadcaster. If selected, we’ll notify you where your Supernews report will appear and back you all the way. However, if one of your stories hits the jackpot sooner (because it’s breaking news, for example), you’ll ‘pass begin’ and go straight to the Big Time. Remember, your success is our success.

Will I get paid if Supernews gets my news report onto mainstream platforms?
Each media partner will differ in terms of their payment model. If we successfully license your content however, you’ll get the lion’s share of 60% and Supernews will take 40%. See Terms of Use.

What is a Change Maker?
The most powerful force for change in the world is a NEW IDEA in the hands of extraordinary individuals. So we’re crowd-sourcing ideas, solutions and action plans from the collective brainpower of problem solvers, inventors, innovators, optimists, social entrepreneurs, creative minds and bright sparks to help solve South African challenges and originate new ideas. Super Stage reaches across disciplines, perspectives, contexts, borders, and time zones. Diverse participants can make this platform a place where everyone comes together to think, work, and build towards a collective good.

What is a Challenge Brief?
These are challenge ideas from Supernews Producers and the Supernews Community, based on topics in the news or problematic issues impacting the country that Supernews wants to draw attention to, put out a call to action for, or solve through crowd-sourcing innovative ideas. If you’re looking for something to spark your creativity, this is a great place to start. You can see all of the active briefs on Challenge Brief.

How do I sign up as a Change Maker if I am working in a team?
You can fly solo or create a multi-disciplinary team of talent. In this case, you’ll need to create a ‘team profile’ – which will be displayed next to your  solution. (All team members need to be signed up as Change Makers in their individual capacity to collectively benefit if you win the Super Prize).

If I respond to a Super Challenge by sending in an idea, do I retain the IP?
Yes, as the Change Maker, you keep 100% ownership of your idea, unless you decide to transfer or license the intellectual property (IP) contained in your solution to interested parties, eg: Supernews itself or organizations we partner with.

If I win the Super Prize, what happens next?
The initial ‘Make it Happen’ Super Prize (money) will go directly towards implementing the idea. Supernews/ Super Stage, as the originator and facilitator of the Super Stage Challenge will continue, post event, to coach the team or individual with the winning idea/s in order to help advance, develop and implement the idea, as well as introduce the winners to experts in the field, and open up potential distribution, marketing and networking channels, amongst other opportunities. Supernews will therefore redeem either a percentage of, or royalties of, or equity in the implemented idea as a result of its direct and continued investment in the individuals and the idea. The exact amount will be decided on a per idea basis.

How do I get to present at Super Stage?
You need to make sure that you spread the word so that the Supernews Public hear about your idea! Then they’ll vote online, sending the top 10 ideas to Super Stage.

How does the voting process work?
You can only vote once. The votes are captured and calculated behind the scenes and are not reflected by the number of views. The final selection is at the discretion of the Supernews Team and does not rely on the popular vote. Ideas will only be considered if they directly respond to the Super Challenge.

What happens if I need to modify my Super Idea during the funding process?
If a project is modified, the Change Maker/team will need to email superidea@supernews.co.za and then post a project update to notify the Supernews Public.

How do I fund a Super Idea?
Once an idea or solution becomes a Super Idea, namely, it gets into the Top 10, it becomes eligible for Crowd Funding. This is when we ask YOU to put your money where your mouse is, and VOTE with your pocket change (anything from R25 and up) to help put these Super Ideas into action.

Do I get anything in return for being a Super Funder?
Of course! At Supernews, ‘Content is our Currency’, so in exchange for your Super Contributions – whether you’re giving R25 or R1000, Go to Super Returns for more info.

What is Payfast?
Supernews is using Payfast, a payment processing service for South Africa. With Payfast, you’ll be able to use your credit card, or make an EFT, or use Ukash. Go to Payfast for more info.

If I make a donation to Supernews, will I get a tax certificate?
As a Section 18A-approved organisation, Supernews will issue tax certificates for all donations from R1000 and up.

Does Supernews collect any of the crowd-sourced funding?
Yes, Supernews will collect a 10% management/admin fee per Super Idea funded.

What is the Supernews ‘ticker tape’?
The Supernews ticker tape is the scrolling blue strip that appears on some web pages. It informs and updates you about the most recent Supernews information and activities, like breaking news reports or dispatch information for citizen journalists from Assignment Desk. It may also tell you about a current Supernews campaign or event.

Didn’t find what you were looking for in the FAQ?
Drop us a line at faq@supernews.co.za and we’ll do our best to answer your question.

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