In the run-up to the appointment of a new pope in 2013, CNN International used Jana Marketplace™ to garner the opinions of people across sub-Saharan Africa. In just four days, CNN was able to poll 20,000 people in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Responses provided insight into how people in Africa felt about the possibility of an African being elected pope.

Using Jana Marketplace™, CNN was able to target people within the largely Christian sub-Saharan African nations that would be affected the most by changes in the Vatican. The diversity of the survey group offered a view of public opinion on a scale not possible through traditional methods.

The Jana Marketplace™ Experience

mCent Match™ was used to identify Jana Marketplace™ members in the eleven countries most relevant to the CNN story. These mCent members then received the CNN survey direct to their mCent accounts – seven questions ranging from “Is the world ready for an African pope?” to “What would be the impact of an African pope on the continent or you?”

“An African pope will bring about more unity on the continent and confidence in Africans,” said Anele, a 28-year-old mCent member from Zimbabwe. Tangeni, a 27-year-old from Namibia, took an opposing view. In his responses, he stated that he did not believe that the world was ready for an African pope. “Will he stop the ongoing war in some African countries?” he wrote. “He may be like the rest of them and just stay in the church; anyway they don’t make any difference in Africa.” Both responses were broadcasted on CNN International and published on CNN.com, bringing two unique perspectives to viewers in over 200 countries.

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The Impact

The CNN team came to Jana with the challenge of collecting a large number of responses in a short period of time. Their alternative solution was to use on-the-ground journalists or other online polling avenues, which would collect far fewer responses from a less diverse population.

20,000 responses were collected from people in 11 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. From CNN’s initial pitch to broadcast, the whole process took four days.

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After the survey:

Using mCent Match™, CNN targeted appropriate individuals for the survey and encouraged them to share content with friends. Results were broadcast on CNN International and published on CNN.com.

  • 20,000 detailed responses provided CNN with a range of first person quotes and content for broadcasts and online reports.

  • 3,000 new referrals were generated, which expanded CNN’s target audience for similar initiatives in the future.