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SAMIP adds three more projects to its cohort

At the start of this year the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) held another meeting of its Advisory Committee to decide on the shortlisted applicants for 2019. After a lengthy session the following projects and organizations were selected to enter our program:

GSport4Girls

GSport4Girls is an online platform that provides coverage of female sports in South Africa. Another component of the organization runs the annual GSport Awards and Hall of Fame which recognizes outstanding performances and contributions in the field of women’s sports.

GSport4Girls was founded and is being operated by Kass Naidoo, a veteran sports journalist and broadcaster, and her husband Ryk Meiring, a technology and new media attorney.

ViewFinder

ViewFinder is an investigative journalism and documentary video production startup. The organization is modeling itself on ProPublica, that both accepts grants and also generates revenue from selling data-driven solutions. The startup was founded by journalist and Hubert Humphrey Fellow and entrepreneur Daneel Knoetze.

#YouthTruth

#YouthTruth is a WhatsApp news channel developed as collaborative production between Oxford academic and social commentator Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh and Thanga, an artificial intelligence (AI) studio based in Johannesburg. The team interviews major names in politics and popular culture and debate the issues of the day.

In its first phase the channel will be launched with their first show, the Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh Xperience (#SMWX). This show revolved around the 2019 elections, including weekly video interviews with political and social stakeholders, as well daily updates on the happenings in South Africa.

SAMIP is proud to add these new projects and organizations to our growing cohort and we look forward to working with them in disrupting the news media space in South Africa.

We visited Warsaw!

In mid-April the program travelled to Warsaw, Poland for the Media Development Investment Fund’s bi-annual Media Forum. This conference and celebration takes place every two years with the last one taking place in 2016 after the election of US President Donald Trump – a sign of challenges to the media to come.

The Media Forum provides an opportunity for clients, friends and colleagues of MDIF, from all over the world, to come together to share their learnings and insights in media. Attendees came from more than 30 countries representing everywhere from the South Americas to South East Asia.

Topics examined at the Forum included issues, such as media dealing with intimidation and harassment, to the business of membership and subscription models, mobile journalism storytelling and strategies for operating in challenging economic conditions.

Our participants also got to present to the MDIF board and SAMIP Advisory Committee on their projects and progress since entering our program in a session that stretched for more than two hours but was so immersive and exciting that we managed to keep a packed room.

All-in-all the experience was a once in a lifetime and we got to make new friends and forge stronger relationships with our friends and colleagues at MDIF.

Matthew Buckland, digital pioneer and SAMIP Advisory Committee member, passes away

It is with great sadness that we report the passing away of Matthew Buckland, a member of our Advisory Committee and Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) Entrepreneur-in-Residence, after battling illness.

Professionally, Matt was a genuine pioneer in digital media in South Africa and across the continent. He led the Mail & Guardian’s digital platform in the early 2000s, ensuring that it became Africa’s leading news site. After leaving M&G, he became a digital entrepreneur, founding the highly successful agency Creative Spark.

Matt’s accomplishments in digital media in South Africa led him to being asked to serve on the Advisory Committee of the South Africa Media Innovation Program, where he would share his business acumen with the next generation of media companies transforming the country.

After leaving Creative Spark, he joined MDIF as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, where he was able to share his expertise beyond South Africa, advising and consulting media companies across the world from Indonesia to Peru, and running workshops and trainings from Berlin to Yangon.

Personally, we shall greatly miss Matthew’s warmth, energy, and passion, and would like to pay tribute to a wonderfully able and supportive colleague.

Our thoughts are with Matt’s family at this difficult time.