Freelance writer, university lecturer, and entrepreneur Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola founded African news platform IQ4News after being introduced to the world of blogging. The website, which focuses on issues in the African continent, welcomes contributions from reporters of all backgrounds, including citizen journalists, journalism students, bloggers, professional journalists, and field experts. Akinbobola serves as editor-in-chief of the collaborative news platform, which is based in Birmingham, UK.
Akinbobola, who first learned about blogging when she was an intern at CNN International, started her own blog in 2007 to write about media-related topics. After completing her internship, she turned her blog into a website that showcased her video reports. In 2009, during the second year of her Ph.D., Akinbobola began blogging about topics that were related to Africa, as she wanted her blog to have something to do with what she was studying, which was the role of media in emerging democracies such as Nigeria and South Africa. She soon got requests from people who wanted to contribute to her blog, and she registered IQ4News as a company in the UK in 2010.
Today, IQ4News specializes in delivering hyper-local social news from Africa. Unlike other online African news organizations that focus on country-specific, generic, or politically slanted news, IQ4News offers a fresh and collaborative approach to news production by blurring the line between professional and citizen journalists. IQ4News aims to create an online community that brings together Africa’s largest network of media producers, bloggers, and creative minds.
“I am interested in in-depth features that don’t just give a short report on an event or issue, but one that offers a backstory and context to the issue,” says Akinbobola.
In addition to publishing content about Africa, IQ4News gives back to the community through their Charity of the Month campaign. The company helps increase the profiles of small- and medium-sized African charities and NGOs by providing them with free advertising space, advertorials, and video space.