Quote this Woman+ launches new database to connect journalists with more diverse and representative experts


  by QW+ staff writer

Quote this Woman+ launches new database to connect journalists with more diverse and representative experts

Feminist non-profit Quote this Woman+ (QW+) launches its new database of expert sources today, making it easier for journalists from across Africa to find and quote women and experts from other marginalised groups. The new database along with a new website were built with support received from the Google News Initiative.

Founder and Director of Quote This Woman+, Kath Magrobi said: “Quote this Woman+ 2.0 helps journalists get the interview they want, when they want it – and we ensure that the person they quote is a woman; or an expert living with a disability, or who is LGBTQIA+, or who in some other way, has had their voice overlooked or silenced by mainstream media. We do this because generally, only one in every five voices heard in the news is a woman – and we want to change that.”

QW+ Version 2.0:

The database tech revamp cost QW+ just under ZAR1.5 million. The Google News initiative contributed towards two thirds of the costs, with QW+ self-funding the rest. “We didn’t skimp on usability testing – either with experts or journalists, even though this was eye-wateringly expensive. Our old system wasn’t very sophisticated, but we still needed to understand what worked about it, and what didn’t – and the same when we built the new platform – we had to test it rigorously before going live,” Magrobi said.

Chief improvements included ensuring the security of personal information stored on the database, improving the search function to allow users to find and connect with experts more easily, and adding analytics features.

Journalists can now search specifically for community or academic voices and search within a topic or specific area of expertise. Another new addition is the ability for media practitioners and experts to email each other directly on the site, allowing two-way connection.

“This project has involved a complete redesign of QW+’s current database and the website it is hosted on, making it more stable, secure, functional, and searchable; and improving its value as a tool for journalists and media practitioners all over the world,” Jacky Smith, Director from UX Research company How Might We said.

“With 2024 being an election year in South Africa, we’ve finished just in the nick of time. Our database provides members of the media with access to the kind of commentary that results in complex, nuanced stories. We can’t wait to see how QW+ 2.0 is used by journalists to showcase a range of voices that allow the lived experiences of women, and other marginalised people, to be amplified. We want to thank the Google News Initiative, our partners, our experts and members of the media who are signed up to our database, for sharing our vision for news that is diverse, inclusive and reflects the complex realities of people across Africa,” Magrobi said. QW+ encourages women+ thought-leaders, community activists and trailblazers throughout Southern Africa and the rest of Africa to sign up as media experts on the database, and invites all media to access the database. More details from www.quotethiswoman.org.za.

About Quote This Woman+

Established in 2019 as a response to the number of male voices finding a platform in the runup to the South African national election, QW+ has consistently grown its database. It now features over 700 women+ experts from South, Southern, and Central Africa, and reaches over 1000 media practitioners . The “plus” in the organisation’s name refers to other groups who are marginalised due to gender, location, sexuality, race, class, geography, disability, and other factors.

The experts cover a range of sectors including science, public health, economic policy, politics, education reform, environmental justice and more.