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Sportingo launches pioneering UGC Model, donating funds to UNICEF

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
© UNICEF/South Africa/2007/Hearfield
Sportingo will donate the equivalent of a child’s sports kit to UNICEF’s Sports For Development programme in South Africa on behalf of all new and existing writers when they submit an article about any sport on the Sportingo website throughout March.

$10 Donations per author sets new standard for ethics of UGC remuneration

14 March 2008 - Sportingo, which empowers fans to become expert pundits through creating and sharing opinion has announced and launched a new initiative with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. Consequently, sports fans, bloggers and online commentators will be able to directly influence and improve the lives of those in the developing world through donations of $10 per author to UNICEF for user generated content (UGC).

This innovative model, pioneered and championed by Sportingo, which has over 2,000 writers, raises the ethical bar in the debate over whether publishers should be offering cash for content, and sets a new benchmark for the re-numeration of citizen journalists.

Sportingo will donate the equivalent of a child’s sports kit to UNICEF’s Sports For Development programme in South Africa on behalf of all new and existing writers when they submit an article about any sport on the Sportingo website throughout March. Visitors to the site will also be able to make additional donations through links on the site.

Ze’ev Rozov, CEO of Sportingo said: “Compensation for social media contributors is currently the subject of a significant number of online debates. From our experience fans write on Sportingo because they share our passion for sport. By introducing this programme, Sportingo is demonstrating that it appreciates members work and is looking at ways to ensure that quality UGC affects the world in a more positive way.  The UNICEF Sport for Development work in South Africa is close to the heart of every sport fan and we are hugely proud to support it. I hope that many more social media sites will link up with charities that are close to their community’s heart and utilise the power of the web as the catalyst for genuine social change”.

Yvonne Duncan, head of External Relations and Partnerships for UNICEF South Africa said: "Our partnership with Sportingo marks a watershed in extending the levels of awareness of children's development issues via the internet for UNICEF South Africa. The rise of digital technology means that we can reach more people than ever, and communicate UNICEF's work for and with children to a wider audience in an instant. Through our partnership with Sportingo, we can engage international supporters in local work using the internet as a global trumpet. I am constantly reminded of Football's positive legacy for children and I hope that Sportingo's visitors and bloggers will work with us to build a better future for South Africa's kids through sport."

In the run up to the 2010 Football World Cup to be held in South Africa, 75% of children in South Africa are surviving on less than $2 per day, have little or no access to sporting facilities, and are exposed to greater risk of violence, drug abuse and learner pregnancy. The Sports For Development programme centres around the premise that sports can be a vital tool for the development of children in South Africa, improving overall health and physical development, improving mental abilities, developing social skills and interactions whilst providing for the child to have fun and challenge themselves in the sporting arena.

UNICEF has pledged to help 585 of the most disadvantaged schools in South Africa and the partnership initiative with Sportingo will aim to provide funds for sporting equipment and infrastructure to the schools and by providing training to staff in the community.

Related links:

Sportingo website

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