The innovative AudienceScapes project by Washington-based InterMedia, has won support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A $1.3m grant will fund research in Africa of how people gather, share and shape news and information, particularly as it relates to development, and boost the AudienceScapes website, with 'Country Communication Profiles', an interactive global media and communication data map, etc.
The site is still in development, but shows promise, especially for students of media and those in development needing to know how to reach and engage with audiences.
How many radio listeners in Lagos? What's TV penetration like in Bosnia? How many use mobile phones in China? Is the media free and democratic in Peru?
"There is a great need for evidence-based research that supports and informs development communications," said InterMedia President Dr. Mark Rhodes. "It's an important base, a launching pad for an expanded research program and information resource for development organizations, starting in Africa but in other regions as well."