International hosting specialist Rackspace, a provider of hosting services to many South African companies, has extended its service range further into Africa with the provision of Cloud hosting support to A24 Media, Africa’s first online news delivery site based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Salim Amin, chairman of A24 Media says the company is the first in Africa to take online delivery of news, photographs, film footage and feature material from journalists, broadcasters and NGOs throughout Africa.
“We’re committed to building the capacity of reporters and photographers to compete globally for share of voice for African issues and A24 Media is therefore structured to place the needs of journalists top of mind.”
Warren Jonas of Rackspace Hosting says the service, known as Cloud Files, allows A24 Media to store articles and supporting media such as photographs, illustrations, diagrams and film footage both efficiently and cost effectively.
“A24 Media’s objective is to quickly make articles and supportive film or illustrations available to broadcasting organisations. The Rackspace Cloud storage service is critical to achieving that,” says Jonas.
Amin comments that A24 Media’s African news content can now be marketed to broadcasters around the world through its “compelling and easily navigable” website.
“With our media offerings safely stored in the Rackspace Cloud Files, we can quickly supply articles and supporting illustrations to broadcasters worldwide who wish to purchase high quality Africa video news and features for broadcast on their TV channels.
“Access to local content has traditionally been a barrier for broadcasters wishing to provide authentic African perspectives on issues affecting the continent. Until now, local journalists have often had no means to distribute their content to broadcasters who, as a result, resorted to hiring expensive international crews to cover local African events,” adds Amin.
“Now we are providing a smart solution that places high quality local news content just a mouse click away for broadcasters eager to find a new way to communicate on African issues and events.”
African journalists, many of whom have for a long time endured inadequate remuneration for the work that they do – often researched and filmed in hostile environments — have welcomed the A24 Media involvement and its redefinition of the media landscape in Africa by saying that it opens up long-awaited opportunities for the profession.
The Johannesburg-based Mail & Guardian newspaper will be providing images for the A24 Media website as part of the drive to provide online access to the continent’s most up to date photojournalism.
A24 Media partners include Africa Business News (ABN), owners and distributors of CNBC Africa in Africa, People TV of France, the 13 member-countries of the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA), Nation Media Group, the leading multi-media house in East and Central Africa, Ethiopia’s Gem TV, Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation and two Kenyan broadcasters, K24, a 24-hour news channel which features local eyewitness reports, and Royal Media Services, a leading broadcast media empire with widespread outreach across Kenya. Other major media houses in Africa also contribute regularly to the A24 Media platform.
An online stills collection containing some of the best photographic collections covering African events over the past 50 years, has been digitised for the first time and also made available to broadcasters seeking content on the A24 Media website.