Jun 16 2012
Upgrades at Pajhwok Afghan News
After surviving its first five years, Pajhwok Afghan News was in need of a makeover.
Schnellinger and Willard designed, obtained $3.5 million in funding for and managed projects which addressed five key areas: 1) In-depth and issues-oriented coverage; 2) photography and video; 3) parliamentary elections and national governance coverage; 4) a redesigned tri-lingual website with online subscription sales; 5) a revamped, modernized and global business strategy.
- To improve the quality of coverage, conducted in-house learning sessions, and then mentored reporters and editors as they developed issues and investigative stories.
- For multimedia, started a video department, added audio clips to the text-based service, and upgraded the equipment and skills of still photographers.
- Before, during and after the parliamentary elections, brought together a team of reporters and interns to do biographies and coverage on the actions of the sitting parliament and candidates.
- Developed a comprehensive business strategy for long-term sustainability, and coached Pajhwok managers on its implementation.
- Throughout these activities, designed, built, launched and continually developed the new Pajhwok website.
For content upgrade projects, Schnellinger was the project manager, and Willard oversaw the business strategy, including data analysis and systems design. The two worked partly in-country and mostly long-distance with Afghan counterparts, and ensured that Pajhwok exceeded project objectives while working well within the budget.