As we head into the final week of October, it’s been a busy time for participants of the South Africa Media Innovation Program, with a string of awards, new editorial content, and – yes, a docuseries for Snapchat. Here is what’s been happening in the SAMIP family:

Hashtag snags a Snapchat docuseries

Hashtag Our Stories, a citizen journalism outlet, has announced an upcoming docuseries to premiere on Snapchat on 24 October. First Person, shot on the Spectacles smart-glasses, will showcase the perspectives of young innovators fighting to save the planet.


New awards nods for Daily Maverick and Mail & Guardian

Two SAMIP participants were among the winners announced for this year’s Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards:

  • Daily Maverick’s Pauli van Wyk won Journalist of the Year and the Investigative Journalism category for her investigations of VBS corruption. Meanwhile, Daily Maverick’s Richard Poplak won in the Columns / Editorial category.
  • Mail & Guardian’s Carlos Amato won in the Editorial Cartoons category


Frank talk on race in newsrooms
SMWX continued its four-part series on race and South African media, with founder Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh releasing video chats with SABC politics reporter Samkele Maseko and former Mail & Guardian editor Khadija Patel. Produced in partnership with SAMIP, the series features conversations with diverse practitioners from across the SA media landscape and grapples with the way race continues to affect journalists in South Africa.

A digital jobs fair for farmers of tomorrow

Agri-news outlet Food for Mzansi will be launching a virtual careers fair for high school students looking to enter the agriculture sector. The Food for Mzansi Virtual Agri Career Fair 2020 will feature a series of virtual rooms for high school learners to explore the A to Z of agricultural careers, offering a combination of low-data sound clips for easy and cheap downloads, and high-quality video for those who prefer it. This event launch on 29 October 2020.


Scrolla expands its editorial mix

As its news offering continues to grow, mobile-first news agency Scrolla is expanding its editorial mix to include more sports and music coverage, and has published its first bi-lingual op-ed. The isiZulu version, “Ngabe uAce Magashule uzoboshwa na?” (““Will Ace Magashule be arrested?”) unpacks the messy politics around corruption-accused ANC politician Ace Magashule, and wonders how long he has as a free man. (The English version is here.)

New Covid-19 projects

Children’s Radio Foundation published an audio diary of a CRF local facilitator as she recovers from Covid-19, offering the listener a glimpse of her life in isolation.

Meanwhile, Media Hack Collective has added a new section to their coronavirus data dashboard – a portal to keep track of Covid-19 in the rest of Africa.


Global recognition for women in sports

gsport for girls, a women’s sports initiative in South Africa, continues to raise the profile of women’s sport globally, with profiles of newly elected vice-president of SA Gymnastics, Keolebogile Mokolopo, Kenyan athletics lawyer Sarah Ochwada (the first Black African woman to hold a Master’s Degree in International Sports Law), and global women’s sports advocate Sonia Soria.

Building investigative journalism on the continent
The African Investigative Journalism Conference continued its sessions through the month, with several more inputs from SAMIP participants. Viewfinder’s Daneel Knoetze presented on some of the reporting tools that helped him uncover systemic failures of police oversight in South Africa.


On 28 October, data journalist Alastair Otter from Media Hack Collective will join SAMIP alumni Raymond Joseph and Adi Eyal in a session on the data-driven storytelling behind their long-running investigation of corruption in the South African lottery. The session is facilitated by SAMIP program officer Siyabonga Africa, making it a true family affair.

Highlighting mental health

As Mental Health Awareness month continues, Verashni Pillay, founder of, published a helpful advisory on how (not) to talk to someone about mental health. The outlet had previously published a video on suicide awareness:

Youth media outlet The Daily Vox also published an article on the need to challenge mental health stigmas within black communities.