The month of September is Heritage Month in South Africa. This is a month in which all South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their unique backgrounds, cultures and religions. September also marks the last month of the third quarter and the beginning of the end of the year. 2020 has not been short of surprises, challenges and highlights.

With the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) having marked its third year of existence in August we are now into fourth year of the program and we have developed a new culture with our cohort of participants.

SAMIP participants celebrate Heritage Day

Our participants marked Heritage Day with special reports such as The Daily Vox who looked at the real issues South Africans should be paying attention to during this day, including the background of the public holiday and the role that food plays in celebrating our shared heritages.


gsport for girls also celebrated the different cultures present in South African women’s sports and all the female athletes that are flying the country’s flag high around the world.


Daily Maverick published several opinion pieces on the topic of Heritage Day and South Africa’s history with the national holiday as well as human rights in the country.

SAMIP hosts POPI info session

During September SAMIP also hosted on information session on the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) in order to explain the legalese behind the Act and what is relevant for our participants to ensure they’re protecting their audiences’ data.

SAMIP leaned on our partnership with TouchBase Pro, an email and SMS marketing vendor based in South Africa, who helped take our participants through Touchbase’s new user manual on to ensure direct marketing practices are compliant with the POPI Act.

Daily Maverick goes to print

SAMIP participant Daily Maverick launched their new print product Daily Maverick 168 at selected Pick n Pay stores around the country. The paper was the culmination of a year’s long project that was aided by their membership plan Maverick Insider.


Former SAMIP Advisory Committee member Pontsho Pilane wrote a feature on some of the key innovations behind the title.

WAN-IFRA Digital Media Africa 2020

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA) held their annual conference and awards ceremony between 08 and 09 September. Several SAMIP participants featured as speakers and panelists during the conference.

These participants included Kathy Magrobi of QuoteThisWoman+; Verashni Pillay of; Shandukani Mulaudzi from Children’s Radio Foundation, Paul McNally from Volume, Styli Charalambous at Daily Maverick and Ivor Price, Food For Mzansi – each representing their organization’s work, projects, and experiences, and the emerging opportunities and innovations for digital media projects across the continent.

Three of our participants were also named as winners at the WAN-IFRA African Digital Media Awards 2020:

  • Mail and Guardian won Best News Website or Mobile Service for their WhatsApp distributed publication The Continent;

  • Daily Maverick won in two categories – Best Paid Content Strategy, and Best Digital Marketing Campaign for a News Brand, both for its Maverick Insider membership programme;

  • Best of all, agri-news start-up Food for Mzansi won across three categories: Best in Audience Engagement (for the Farmers Inside Track campaign), Best Project for News Literacy (for their citizen journalism project that received funding from the Google News Initiative) and Best Special Project for Covid-19 (for their podcast and audience engagement campaign ‘Thandi and Captain Stay Safe’).

As the month came to a close the program looks forward to the next set of wins from our participants in the final quarter of 2020.