Volume releases podcast on Coronavirus’ impact on newsrooms

Another week and another set of wins for the South Africa Media Innovation Program’s (SAMIP) participants. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic the program has looked at its cohort has conducted projects and reporting on the virus and its impact on society.

KAS Media Africa, in collaboration with podcast production company Volume, released the first episode of their African Media Thermometer podcast series. The podcast, co-hosted with freelance reporter Elna Schütz, will be focusing on the effects that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on newsrooms. The first episode looks at how misinformation has spread during Covid-19 pandemic, the challenges faced by journalists and fact-checkers, and how to create credible content.

Volume is no stranger to this subject matter having produced a similar podcast series at the start of South Africa’s national lockdown due to the Coronavirus in April this year. Their podcast series, Media Diaries, offered an inside look into how SAMIP’s participants, and other media partners, were coping as the pandemic progressed.

SAMIP participants observe Women’s Day

On Sunday, South Africa celebrated Women’s Day, a national holiday that  commemorates the 1956 march of more than 20,000 to to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws. Two of SAMIP’s participants, The Daily Vox and Quote This Woman+, ran special coverage on the day.

The Daily Vox interviewed Sophie de Bruyn, the last surviving participant of the 1956 march, to understand what inspired her to join the likes of Helen Joseph and Albertina Sisulu in their fight against Apartheid. 

In their mission to get more women voices heard in the media and to celebrate women, Quote This Woman+ curated a list and profiled 90 gender women experts.

Gsport for girls has been running a month’s long Women’s Month campaign long with the named sponsor of their flagship awards ceremony, Momentum. Throughout the month August they have been highlighting female athletes and sports media experts. On Sunday 16 August the women’s sports platform will be running a media masterclassv featuring International Cricket Council and SABC cricket commentator, Natalie Germanos, Metro FM and SABC Sport presenter, Lebo Motsoeli and Sports PR and Sponsorship leading lady, Lona Benya.

The Continent innovates digital distribution in Africa

The Continent is Mail & Guardian’s weekly newspaper aimed at a pan-African audience and is distributed primarily via WhatsApp. Freelance writer Pontsho Pilane recently published a feature on the publication looking at the WhatsApp distribution strategy that MG Africa editor Simon Allison developed for it, the user experience the MG team created for readers, and the unclear business model WhatsApp distribution channel has on generating revenue for newsrooms.

Ongoing highlights

This week in the agriculture podcast Farmer’s inside track, Food For Mzansi features the agribusiness senior manager at Standard bank Bertie Hamman who shares on the difference between cash flow and profit. Also, the episode features two farmers and details on next week’s Fresh Connections: Southern Africa virtual conference.

The Coronavirus dashboard by Media Hack Collective, which the team has raised more than R50,000 for in a crowdfunding initiative, is still a valuable source of information for those wanting to keep tabs on the pandemic in South Africa. The latest numbers show that more than three million tests have been conducted in the country, 572,865 cases have been reported, with 11,270 deaths, and 437,617 recoveries. The dashboard contains detailed provincial data for Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, North West, and Gauteng.

Health- e-News continues to report on the pandemic especially as the world races to find a vaccine for the virus.


Combatting Africa’s infodemic with a WhatsApp-only publication

The off-label use of WhatsApp as a news distributor has created an opportunity for readers to redefine what it means to have a digital experience, but there’s no clear business model just yet, by Pontsho Pilane.

Together with the widespread of misinformation and disinformation, plagiarised digital copies of some of South Africa’s leading weekly newspapers started making the rounds the first weekend after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced South Africa will be going into a strict lockdown at the end of March. While it’s still not clear where or how the breach in the production process happened, being forwarded PDF version of South Africa’s Sunday Times on WhatsApp got Mail & Guardian journalists Simon Allison and Sipho Kings thinking. Additionally, there was a “particularly pronounced” amount of fake news circulating on WhatsApp at the start of the pandemic in South Africa.

That is how The Continent—a Pan African weekly newspaper produced in partnership with the M&G—came to life. The PDF publication features news from across the African continent and is easily read and shared on mobile phone screens. The articles are short, on average about 250 words and a news edition is distributed mainly on WhatsApp every Saturday.

“WhatsApp was almost always the source of fake news and that’s when we realised that we had to start thinking very seriously about how we can get our news onto WhatsApp. Sipho and I started asking ourselves what product can we make that can showcase the news that we’re doing in a way that works on that particular medium,” explains Allison who is M&G’s Africa editor and co-founder of The Continent. Allison has become the de facto editor of this new publication and says there hasn’t been any time to set up formal structures because the idea executed within two weeks.

While Allison liked the idea of reading a newspaper on his mobile phone, the pinching in and out to better read was not a great user experienced. “Reading an online article is not like reading a newspaper,” he adds. “It’s a very different experience because a newspaper is curated that stories are intentionally put where they are. We wanted to create the feeling of a newspaper without leaving your house to get it.”

WhatsApp as the perfect medium

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in most English-speaking countries in Africa and it’s sometimes the first app most people download when they get a new smartphone. The platform has garnered interest from various media entrepreneurs looking for ways to reach readers and audience in the most intimate ways. For instance, Zimbabwean publisher Nigel Mugamu started 263Chatan ad-based free news service that distributes articles via WhatsApp groups to thousand of its subscribers— in 2012.

WhatsApp’s drawing card is its ability to reach people in an intimate way. Users are able to control who and how they interact on the app. Media scholars argue that the platform allows large numbers of people to communicate in group discussions like other social media platforms such as Twitter, but in a more private manner where users have more control over who sees their content.  The publication’s cross-border nature also circumvents the power repressive African states may exert over their citizens as compared to other traditional forms of media such as newspapers and television.

According to media researchers, WhatsApp’s encryption means it cannot be monitored and censored in the same ways as newspapers, Twitter or Facebook. “WhatsApp has strengthened the hand of opposition parties and civil society groups that have historically faced repression, and this disrupts the status quo.”

A digital copy is almost entirely uncensorable by authoritarian governments, which has been one of the publication’s unexpected strengths.

“A PDF newspaper can slip past borders and can be shared by people without governments being able to see. Ultimately, that might be the most powerful aspect of this way of publishing,”  Allison says.

A booming business model?

As print media organisations try to find new revenue models for the digital era, monetising these products has been an uphill battle. The Continent is yet to explore any revenue-generating models, at this state the weekly publication doesn’t even carry any advertisements. It’s mostly self-funded with some financial support from the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the National Endowment for Democracy. Advertisements are not completely off the table for the publication, but it’s difficult to track the publication’s reach when it’s shared through WhatsApp.

“We aren’t able to track how many people are reading the publication that in the way that you can with websites. But we’re able to find out how people engage with the content through getting feedback from readers,” Allison says.

The Continent has published 15 editions since launching in April and sends a new edition to close to 8 000 of its subscribers (equally split between email and WhatsApp subscriptions) What who are based in about 48 African countries—with most readers in Nigeria, Kenya and the Southern African region, says Kiri Rupiah who is the M&G’s online editor and in charge of The Continent’s digital and distribution unit.

While it’s not yet clear how they plan to monetise the publication, Allion says it’s still early days. “We do believe that this is a model that can generate revenue, but the key stumbling block is knowing how many people we are reaching and finding a way to measure the exponential sharing of The Continent has because of the nature of WhatsApp medium. Those are numbers that we can take to advertisers and get real money.”

The distribution costs on WhatsApp are very low, even when switching from a free-to-use WhatsApp Business account limited to businesses with 5 000 users to WhatsApp API which with an unlimited number using and costing from about $200 per month.

Rupiah’s says manually distributing each edition is time-consuming work, however, it works for them. At the time of the launch, The Continent didn’t have money to register for the WhatsApp, but the apprehension to bots also influenced this choice. “There always needs to be a human in the loop. It’s important to talk to readers so we can gauge how they feel about our product,” she explains.

But relying too much on WhatsApp can be disastrous. In September, Business Insider South Africa was forced to end its daily morning WhatsApp newsletter after the messaging app decided to enforce its terms of service, specifically keeping the platform purely for personal communication instead of bulk messaging.

Whether they like it or not, The Continent will have to switch to bot soon as they creep closer to the 5000-limit on WhatsApp Business. “We’re a boutique service. Not an expensive hotel but rather a mom and pop store where you always go because you know you can trust the quality because you know the people.”

With more revenue, The Continent plan to expand into other languages such as elves KiSwahili or French edition to serve more African reader. It experimented with publishing a story about the current unrest in Zimbabwe in Shona.

Read more

Daily Maverick goes from digital to print

In a move that is sure to turn heads in global media circles, the Daily Maverick has announced the launch of a weekly print newspaper: Daily Maverick 168. The digital media house announced its plan to “go back into the future” with a R20 weekly paper to be distributed in Pick n Pay stores, asking readers to vote on which branches the paper should be launched at. Daily Maverick 168 will be free to all customers on Pick n Pay’s SmartShopper loyal programme.

How students are coping with online learning

This week, youth media outlet The Daily Vox hosted a webinar on online learning challenges faced by university and TVET college students, informed by a survey by Youth Capital on how South African students are coping with online learning.

The Daily Vox also reported on how the 2020 academic year has impacted on NSFAS (the National Student Financial Aid Scheme) and what that entails for the 2021 academic year application. TDV shares the NSFAS timeline of updates from 2019 to date.

Giving voice to those in farming

In their weekly agri-news wrap, Food For Mzansi alerted their audience to key opportunities to be heard on government policy matters: a land-tenure Bill and new regulations on waste management. Though ongoing restrictions on the sale and transport of alcohol continue to impact the wine industry, Team FFM also highlighted the closing day of South Africa’s first ever winery online auction, and a new deadline for entries to the SA Young Wine Show.

In the latest episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, Food for Mzansi speaks to an award-winning agricultural worker about his journey of success, and gets inspiration from a sheep farmer.

How intellectual property affects your healthcare

In the latest episode of Access, Volume’s new podcast produced with the Health Justice Initiative, host Fatima Hassan looks at the obstacles to access to treatment in a time of COVID-19, and South Africa’s past struggles for access to life-saving medicines.

Coronavirus in South Africa Dashboard

Media Hack Collective has updated the Coronavirus dashboard to include the latest test conducted, infection cases, death and recoveries numbers, and district dashboard for Gauteng, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape.


July sees new entrants & progress for SAMIP

As 2020 progresses and we enter the second half of the year we look back at the month that was and the goings on at the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP).

Towards the end of the first quarter of the year we switched over to remote work and despite being dispersed across the country we have managed to keep up the momentum of the program.

New entrants join our cohort

At the start of the month the program received approval from our Advisory Committee to on-board two new entrants that were shortlisted from the many applications we have received this year.

Explain brings explainer content to the masses

Explain.co.za specializes in explainer news content and was founded by veteran journalist Verashni Pillay who is a former editor-in-chief of M&G. Explain aims to explain the news to local audiences in “fun and engaging ways”. They use entertaining news videos to reach traditionally neglected audiences in South Africa and publish and distribute their content through WhatsApp.

Zonotho promotes financial literacy to South Africa youth

Zonotho is a financial literacy website aimed at young professionals that was founded by university friends Thando Ncube and Benjamin Semugga. The platform aims to provide young South Africans with the financial tools and knowledge needed to make optimum decisions.

The platform was founded by university friends and actuarial scientists Thando Ncube and Benjamin Semugga.

SAMIP delves into the business of podcasting

In the last week of the month SAMIP ran panel discussion featuring speakers from Sowt, None on Record, Daily Maverick, the Children’s Radio Foundation and Volume who were gathered to give their views on the business of podcasting in Sub-Saharan Africa.

At a time when podcasts are becoming more and more common, and the barriers to entry for the podcasting industry are lowered on a daily basis, the time was right for us to look into how media organizations are actually generating revenue from their podcast projects and products.

The panel discussion was well-received and SAMIP is planning a follow-up discussion as we try to find out what it takes to become a sustainable podcasting venture.

Throughout July our participants have launched new podcasts whilst those with podcasts in place have seen them top the charts: Food For Mzansi continued with their chart-topping agri podcast, Farmer’s Inside TrackThe Daily Maverick fills the void in sports with the Maverick Sports PodcastThe Daily Vox’s Critical Stans 2.0 discusses internet culture and online fandoms; Not Yet Uhuru’s What’s Love?! puts a feminist slant on finance and legal advice.

Participant highlights

Media Hack raises R30k in 30 hours

Last week, our friends at the Media Hack Collective launched a crowdfunding campaign for their Coronavirus dashboard, which they have run over the past four months as a public service in open data. Their goal was to raise R30,000 over 30 days – but they raised that amount in just 30 hours.

A week later, they’re at nearly 150% of their goal, with contributions from over 140 users. It’s a testament to the loyal following that Alastair and Laura have created through their Covid-19 data project, which has attracted over 2 million visits since it launched.

Notable mentions:

  • Stokvel Talk, which produces a free community newspaper on stokvel financial cooperatives, continued to show that financial advice isn’t the sole domain of high-end investor publications – they partnered with Nedbank for a webinar on savings strategies and how stokvels can work with the banking sector.
  • Quote This Woman+ grew its database of woman+ voices to nearly 300 members, on news topics ranging from public health and the economy to science and international relations, to change whose voices are represented in the news media.
  • Viewfinder has been getting a lot of publicity as they uncover injustices done by members of our security forces. Founder and director Daneel Knoetze participated in a webinar hosted by the Global Investigative Journalism Network that examined how open source investigations are conducted on the African continent.
  • The Children’s Radio Foundation ran their listening party as a part of their Menell Media Exchange programme for 2020. The listening party featured the voices from Health-e News,  the Medical Council Research Unit of the Gambia and Mail & Guardian discussing the challenges of reporting on the Coronavirus pandemic.

As we enter August SAMIP will be hosting webinars in the fields of product development as well as many more aimed at women in the media with August being Women’s Month in South Africa.

Throughout it all we will continue our mission of accelerating innovation and transformation in South Africa’s news media.


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Media Hack raises R30k in 30 hours

In a time of uncertainty for many media organizations, this week’s updates from participants of the South Africa Media Innovation Program is cause for optimism: a major crowdfunding success, the rollout of a new podcast, an innovative live audio event, and ongoing coverage of the key issues of the day.

Crowdfunding success for Coronavirus data dashboard

This week, the Media Hack Collective launched a crowdfunding campaign for their Coronavirus dashboard, which they created four months ago to track South Africa’s coronavirus numbers. Their goal was to raise R30,000 over 30 days – but they reached their target in just 30 hours. By Friday, the funding portal had received 130 small user donations, totalling 140% of their original goal. Media Hack plans to continue maintaining the Coronavirus dashboard as a public service, updating it daily with the latest numbers on Covid-19 tests, infection, death, and recoveries.

Children’s Radio Foundation hosts the MMX experience

As part of this year’s MMX (Menell Media Exchange), the Children’s Radio Foundation hosted an “MMX Listening Experience” on the theme of African Media in a Global Crisis. The event was delivered over Zoom, through an innovative combination of live broadcasts, audience interaction, and pre-recorded content, unpacking some of the challenges facing media organisations in Africa during the pandemic, and how some outlets are responding. It was produced in partnership with the South Africa Media Innovation Program. Watch it live here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=902870416870706&ref=watch_permalink

Challenges faced by SA pregnant women during Covid-19

This week, The Daily Vox report on the challenges faced by pregnant women during antenatal and postnatal care in South Africa during Covid-19 and how pregnant women can prepare to overcome the challenges.

Zooming in on Gauteng province’s pandemic response

Health-e News reports on a new plan to boost the Gauteng government’s efforts to contain Covid-19 infections – a set of “district champions” who will lead local efforts, supported by a list of ministers, deputy ministers and provincial leaders.

New podcast on internet shutdowns

Volume, in partnership with Access Now, launched Kill Switch, a brand-new podcast that explores the troubling rise of internet shutdown across the world. The series will follow different role players in different geographic locations to discuss internet shutdowns and digital rights violations.

Food for Mzansi keeps us updated with agricultural news

Food for Mzansi wraps the week with a highlight of agricultural news in South Africa. Their Farmer’s Insider Track podcast features the co-owner of the Drakensberg Bee Academy in KwaZulu-Natal, a representative from Farmer’s Assistant, and an aquaponics pioneer farming in Tembisa in Gauteng.



SAMIP participants weekly update

It’s been another busy week, with stokvel savings discussions, internet fandoms, and an inside look at community health workers. This is what SAMIP participants have been up to this week.

Readings on racism

As global discussions about systemic racism continue, The Daily Vox recommends ten books by Black and POC authors on race, systemic racism, and white privilege.

Tracking coronavirus news

Media Hack Collective updated their Coronavirus data dashboard to show the increase in infections in South Africa: it shows that South Africa has conducted 2.6 million tests, recorded over 408000 cases, and 6093 deaths.
As scientists and governments across the world race to find a way out of the pandemic, Health-e News reported on promising initial findings from a Covid-19 vaccine trial from Oxford University.

A growing community of women’s voices

Quote This Woman+ now hosts a community of nearly 300 woman+ sources in over 40 categories. This week, they highlighted seven new experts on Covid-19 and life under lockdown, as well as a conservationist who can offer analysis on the strange pandemic affecting elephants in Botswana.

Open-source investigations in Africa

Daneel Knoetze, editor of SAMIP participant ViewFinder, joined a discussion by the Global Investigative Journalism Network on Open Source Investigations in Africa. Together with journalists from Zimbabwe and Kenya, Daneel shared tips and insights on how to use open-source tools during the Covid-19 crisis to produce groundbreaking investigations.

Savings advice for hard times

Stokvel Talk, a media company that produces a free community newspaper on the financial cooperatives locally known as “stokvels”, hosted a webinar with Nedbank on how people can use stokvels for short to long term savings; the kinds of banking instruments that stokvels can use to achieve their goals; and discussed a few myths regarding stokvels and savings.


This week’s episode of ‘News From The Frontline’ produced by Volume in partnership with Tekano, the hosts focused on the plight of Community Health Workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

This week’s episode of The Critical Stans 2.0 podcast, the Daily Vox chat about fandoms and internet communities, as well as some of the downsides of online fan cultures.

In the latest Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, Food for Mzanzi hosts a range of experts on agriculture, including an agricultural economist with the latest fruit and vegetable market update ; and an indigenous goat farmer who talks about why he believes that farming as the best way of fighting poverty.

Upcoming event

Children’s Radio Foundation in partnership with SAMIP will be hosting the MMX Listening Experience, African Media in a Global Crisis event on 29 July at 4:00 pm. The hosts will be in conversation with Simon Allison (The Continent by M&G) Jama Jack (Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia) and Nelisiwe Msomi (Health-e News) about how African media can best respond to the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business of podcasting

On Tuesday 28 July, SAMIP is hosting an online discussion on the business of podcast, focusing on the ins and outs of the podcasting business in the global south. The discussion will feature speakers from SAMIP participant organisations as well as external expert Selly Thiam from None on Record and Ramsey Tesdell from Sowt.
The event is scheduled for 11am-12pm (UTC+2) – RSVP to samip@mdif.org.

GSport4Girls names nominees for women’s sporting awards

This week, GSport4Girls named the athletes competing for its annual sporting awards, while other participants of the South Africa Media Innovation Program continued their work delivering news and entertainment to audiences across South Africa.

Gsport names awards nominees
Sports may be on hold, but women athletes can still be celebrated. GSport4Girls, an online initiative to raise the profile of women in South African sports, unveiled its nominees for the 2020 Moment gsport Awards. The event, an annual fixture to honour women’s achievements in sports, is set to take place digitally in August.

Remembering a youth icon
Youth media outlet Daily Voice profiled Zindzi Mandela, the daughter of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela, and the ideals she inspired along with her parents. Mandela passed away earlier this week.

Tracking coronavirus in South Africa
South Africa’s Covid-19 cases are rapidly rising; this week SA recorded the fourth highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world. The Media Hack Collective’s Coronavirus in South Africa dashboard charted the latest numbers, showing that South Africa has recorded over 320,000 cases and 4669 deaths, and has recorded over two million tests.

SAMIP participants’ podcasts
Masculinity as a social construct is something that comes up again and again in conversations around gender. In this week’s episode of The Daily Vox’s Critical Stans 2.0 podcast, Shaazia Ebrahim and Fatima Moosa deconstruct masculinity in pop culture, focusing on Bollywood and Korean dramas, and how it influences real-life behavior.

In this week’s episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track podcast, Food For Mzansi unpacks the funding applications for the national farming support programme, andspeaks to Musawenkosi Kubheka, a farmer who made his first million at the age of 27.

Getting women’s voices heard
QuoteThisWoman+, which is committed to getting more women’s voices heard in South African media, highlighted the contribution of one of its experts, Prof. Elmien du Plessis, to a report on the risk of politicisation of farm attacks in South Africa.

SAMIP participants keep tabs on growing coronavirus cases

As South Africa crossed the 100-day mark since the national lockdown was announced the country is now seeing a surge in confirmed cases with the number of people who’ve been infected reaching more than 230,000. This is serious news and our participants have been covering the developments.

Data journalism start-up Media Hack Collective’s coronavirus  dashboard has all the latest statistics on the number of confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries. The number of active cases is now 121,558 and deaths have gone up to 3,720. On the other hand the country has seen more than 113,000 recoveries which should offer some solace.

gsport for girls goes global

SAMIP participant gsport for girls is now well into their plans for the 2020 Momentum gsport Awards with entries now open. The women’s sports platform recently announced their global expansion with the kick-off of the #gsportGlobal initiative.

The initiative includes the addition of a new gsport chapter in Surat, India as well as the addition of African and Global award categories that will be announced at this year’s awards.

Podcasts new and current

Our participants are also hard at work in developing new podcasts and releasing new episodes of current shows.

The Daily Vox’s ‘Critical Stans’ show released their latest episode that saw them dive into the issue of One Direction’s Zayn Malik and what the singer means to fans of the group who are people of color.

Not Yet Uhuru’s podcast on women empowerment, ‘What’s Love Podcast’, took on the topic of child maintenance and the various issues around it. Food for Mzansi’s podcast, ‘Farmer’s Inside Track’, featured interviews with up and coming agriculture entrepreneurs and thought-leaders. Their latest podcast for children, ‘Thandi and Captain Safe’, discussed how young learners can stay safe as the pandemic continues in the country.

Volume released a new show, called ‘Access’, that they are producing for the Health Justice Initiative (HJI). The HJI is a recently established law and policy unit that was founded by former Open Society Foundation of South Africa director Fatima Hassan.

Our participants continue to make us proud as they break stories, explain issues and drive innovation in South Africa’s media landscape.

SAMIP promotes the youth in June

Throughout the month of June, which is Youth Month in South Africa, SAMIP’s participants have shown immense resilience and innovation in their journalism. One of the biggest stories to emerge has been the issue of police brutality that, thanks to Viewfinder, is now getting more public scrutiny.

Our participants have also covered the precarious situation at South Africa’s universities as a result of the pandemic and the ever disturbing presence of gender-based violence in the country.

Since June was Youth Month we want to acknowledge our participants who are led and powered by young teams. These include:

Webinars continue

With the pandemic raging on SAMIP has had to continue with its pivot to webinars in place of in-person workshops and training sessions. These have allowed us to include a lot more people in the sessions and increase our overall impact.

Those who know, teach

Our first webinar of the month was a continuation of the online events webinar we held in May but this time we looked at the online training industry. Online training is a USD200 million industry which is ripe for entry with a growing need for niche content.

The webinar was geared towards media organizations and non-profits who wanted to know how they could set up their own online training initiatives especially as a revenue stream.

Speakers from Fray College, Hashtag our Stories, Smart Film School and The Potential Platform who discussed their experiences in setting up media training businesses, developing online training content, marketing and monetizing online training content. Catch our write-up here.

Getting into the fundraising game

SAMIP also held a webinar on Fundraising for independent media organizations. as many companies and non-profits are finding themselves with strained revenue streams as a result of the pandemic.

Donor and grant funding play an important role supporting independent media organizations. The webinar was formulated to fill the gap in information on available funding and best practices for applying for funding.

SAMIP also launched an Independent Media Donor Funding Tool (IMDFT), an online spreadsheet of donor information and fundraising opportunities for independent media houses.

Other highlights

A few other highlights from our month:

Looking forward

With the second half of the year now underway, the program is planning on continuing with its remote work which means more webinars and online training. Our focus for the rest  of the year is to provide as much support to our participants and the industry as we all find ways to do good journalism and hold those who need to be held to account whilst also dealing with a pandemic.

Some of the events we are looking forward to include: Radio Days Africa and MMX 2020 which is being run by our participant Children’s Radio Foundation. The second half of the year will also see us finalizing the next stage of our program and we will keep you all posted on those plans.

Until the next time.

SAMIP participants cover South Africa’s budget woes and GBV

This week, the economy loomed large for SAMIP participants as South Africa’s Minister of Finance delivered a grim COVID-19 budget revision.

Quote This Woman+ compiled a list of women from its database of experts who can assist the media to diversify its voices in stories about the budget and economy.

Health-e News, a digital health news organisation, reported on the Minister of Finance’s plan to increase the capacity of the healthcare system in response to the pandemic.

Media Hack Collective updated its Coronavirus in South Africa dashboard to show the latest numbers, including new local data showing hotspots at a districts and sub-district level.

But the budget and the pandemic weren’t the only things making headlines this week.

The top stories this week at youth media outlet The Daily Vox were an explainer on Israel’s latest plans to seize a third of the occupied territories of the West Bank, and a profile of Wits University’s next Vice Chancellor, nuclear physicist Zeblon Vilakazi.

Meanwhile, agrinews start-up Food For Mzansi’s latest podcast features agriculturalist Lungelo Mathenjwa, on his efforts to help small-holder farmers reach their commercial potential, and an update from Agricolleges International on what courses matric students can apply for in the next few weeks.

The latest episode of feminist law-and-finances podcast What’s Love?! looks at the differences between a Cohabitation Agreement and a Marriage Contract, to ensure listeners understand the benefits of Cohabitation Agreements for women not looking to marry in the future.

Gsport4girls, a media startup focusing on girls and women in sports, reported on SA Olympic swimmer Penny Heyns’ efforts to mentor young sportswomen. Heyns is an ambassador of the 2020 Momentum gsport Awards, which are currently open for nominations and which will be announced in August.