March marks the end of the first quarter for 2018 for our young programme. The last three months have flown by in fast succession and it feels like yesterday when we introduced our current grantees to each other and began the process of mapping out the year ahead.
This month has been one in which the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) has begun in earnest to move on to the next stage: through networking, presentations and assessing applications for general entry into our programme.
As always we would like to highlight some of the great work our current cohort of participants have done in the past month. The chosen projects and organisations have been hard at work getting their initiatives up and running with some exceeding expectations.
Hashtag Our SA
The dynamic team that is Yusuf Omar and his wife Sumaiya were once again highlighted by international publications for their innovative work in the space of mobile journalism.
Reuters profiled the team as an example of how media organizations can increase their organic growth on Facebook. In a time when publications are in constant fear over changes to Facebook’s design and algorithm, and the effects it can have on their communities and reach, Hashtag Our SA have been able to thrive and grow exponentially within this precarious environment.
The “fun-nancial” newsletter has been hard at work delivering financial news in the quest of increasing financial literacy in South Africa. In the past month they launched a new website and have gone on to release their first ebook focusing on job hunting for new graduates.
Volume News, or Volume as they’d like to be called now, offers a comprehensive radio content and advertisement service using bespoke software and hardware. The team has done well in growing their sales leads and the community stations that are now using their platform.
Collective Media Cooperative
The team led by Osiame Molefe have been hard at work growing their network of journalists and content contributors and have begun adding more publications which they will be regularly writing and producing pieces for.
— etc. (@eeeteecee) February 5, 2018
These are just some of the highlights, in terms of coverage and work, of cohort who continue to progress in their missions to innovate in the news space in South Africa.
SAMIP attended and participated in a number of events this past month.
At the beginning of March our program officer, Siyabonga Africa, got to attend the IAB Summit 2018 that was held in Kyalami. The Summit itself was themed around transformation and empowering young black media workers this year with some powerful lightening talks by up and coming creatives.
— SA Media Innovation (@SAMIP_MDIF) March 1, 2018
Our program assistant, Lerato, and program officer Siyabonga attended the launch of Buwa! A Journal on African Women’s Experiences by the Open Society for the Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA). The launch itself featured discussions on youth and young people in the African continent and the challenges facing them.
We also had a presence at the Taco Kuiper Awards 2017 that are held by Wits University’s journalism department. The awards highlighted the best in investigative journalism in the country.
And lastly SAMIP participated in the inaugural Oslo Freedom Forum Joburg – this was a localised version of the human rights conference. Several of our grantees were exhibited in the interactive expo and Hashtag Our SA co-founder Yusuf Omar was the MC of the proceedings.
— SA Media Innovation (@SAMIP_MDIF) March 19, 2018
As the month came to a close SAMIP began shortlisting applications received since the opening of general entry into our program. General entry itself is not a guarantee of funding but would present an opportunity for those selected to benefit from the capacity building programs that SAMIP will be running.
The applications show, once again, the high calibre of ideas and projects that are present in the country and we look forward to adding new participants to our current cohort.