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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, Registration #: 2010/000172/06. It is also pending registration as a NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) and PBO (Public Benefit Organisation).

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 THE NEWS – it’s just reported from a NEW PERSPECTIVE.

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 – 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 for some skill power 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. 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 BIG rewards, like internships, mainstream news coverage and international media opportunities - so you can’t get complacent – because your rating is dynamic and 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 user profile page so that you know how near or far you are from earning Super Star status and getting Super Stuff as well as where you need to improve your work. 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 community to rate your report. Go to 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 Natural (Level 4), 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%.

What is the Super Innovator Network?
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 and social entrepreneurs to help solve South African challenges and originate new ideas, because we believe that if you think differently, different things start to happen.

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 innovation. 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. The most innovative ideas and solutions in response to these briefs will get published on supernews.co.za.

How do I sign up as a Super Innovator if I am working in a team?
If you decide to work in a team for a particular idea submission, you’ll need to sign up the ‘team name’ as a ‘Super Citizen Journalist profile’ – which will then be displayed next to your published idea. However, all team members need to be signed up as Super Citizen Journalists in their individual capacity because if the idea gets voted as a Super Idea, it becomes eligible for funding, and you will all need to be registered in order for the team as a collective to benefit. Go to How it Works for more info.

If I respond to a Super Challenge by sending in an idea, do I retain the IP?
Yes, as the Super Innovator or Super Innovator Team, 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 going forward.

What happens if I need to modify my Super Idea during the funding process?
If a project is modified, the Super Innovator/s will need to post a project update and notify your Super Funders by email.

How do I fund a Super Idea?
Once an idea or solution becomes a Super Idea, namely, it gets the highest vote all round, 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. Go to Make it Happen for more info.

Do I get anything in return for being a Super Funder or Super Gifter to Supernews itself?
Of course! At Supernews™, ‘Content is our Currency’, so in exchange for your Super Contributions – whether you’re giving R150 or R1,000,000, camera equipment or your valuable time, we have an exchange to match your level of generosity. Go to Super Returns for more info.

What is Payfast?
Supernews is using Payfast, is a payments 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?
Once Supernews has successfully registered with SARS as a Section 18A-approved organisation, it will be eligible to issue a tax certificate for all donations.

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 activity, like breaking news reports or dispatch information for citizen journalists from Assignment Desk. It may even tell you about the current Supernews campaign.

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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