The events of this past week have been monumental: On Monday 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the South African government was going to lockdown the country for twenty-one days starting midnight Thursday 26 March.
Despite the new state of the nation the South Africa Media Innovation Program’s (SAMIP) participants have continued their good journalism in covering the developments of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The diary of a media worker
On Wednesday 25 March, Volume released the first episode of a podcast series called Media Diaries: this is a podcast about media workers covering the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa. The podcast is a collaboration between SAMIP and Volume.
“The idea was to do something innovative around Covid-19 and the media,” explains Volume co-founder and director Paul McNally. “How do you do your job as a journalist which needs social contact when you’re supposed to be employing social distancing as a private citizen.”
Listen to the messenger don’t shoot them
Online publication Daily Maverick launched a podcast as well this week: Don’t Shoot the Messenger with Rebecca Davis. The podcast is a look at current affairs through the lens of seasoned journalist Rebecca Davis.
In the first episode, Rebecca interviewed Yale Professor Frank Snowden, who has studied the effects of pandemics throughout history.
Youth, anxiety and the Coronavirus
The Children’s Radio Foundation decided to investigate the effects of the viral outbreak on the youth of the country. The non-profit’s network of youth reporters, consisting of young men and women from around South Africa, shared their feelings about the virus and the lockdown that the country is undergoing.
In a series of vox pops that were collected using WhatsApp voice notes the youth reporters shared their anxiety, sadness and fear about the virus.
The rest of the cohort continued their superb coverage of the pandemic. Data journalism start-up Media Hack Collective saw subscriptions to their weekly newsletter soar on the back of their innovative data dashboard that is tracking the Coronavirus pandemic in South Africa.
Health-e News reported on the plans that the South African government has in place in order to fight the pandemic in townships and peri-urban areas where South Africa’s most vulnerable citizens live.
Youth news site The Daily Vox shared some important resources for South Africans to have on hand during the lockdown. The resources included numbers to report gender based violence that many fear will spike as individuals are being forced into quarantine with their abusers.
And on a lighter note mobile video start-up Hashtag our Stories shared a compilation of videos from around the world where people engaged in the #StayAtHomeChallenge meme.
These are just some of the many projects and stories from our cohort of participants who are innovating and transforming the media space in South Africa.