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SAMIP participants keep tabs on growing coronavirus cases

As South Africa crossed the 100-day mark since the national lockdown was announced the country is now seeing a surge in confirmed cases with the number of people who’ve been infected reaching more than 230,000. This is serious news and our participants have been covering the developments.

Data journalism start-up Media Hack Collective’s coronavirus  dashboard has all the latest statistics on the number of confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries. The number of active cases is now 121,558 and deaths have gone up to 3,720. On the other hand the country has seen more than 113,000 recoveries which should offer some solace.

gsport for girls goes global

SAMIP participant gsport for girls is now well into their plans for the 2020 Momentum gsport Awards with entries now open. The women’s sports platform recently announced their global expansion with the kick-off of the #gsportGlobal initiative.

The initiative includes the addition of a new gsport chapter in Surat, India as well as the addition of African and Global award categories that will be announced at this year’s awards.

Podcasts new and current

Our participants are also hard at work in developing new podcasts and releasing new episodes of current shows.

The Daily Vox’s ‘Critical Stans’ show released their latest episode that saw them dive into the issue of One Direction’s Zayn Malik and what the singer means to fans of the group who are people of color.

Not Yet Uhuru’s podcast on women empowerment, ‘What’s Love Podcast’, took on the topic of child maintenance and the various issues around it. Food for Mzansi’s podcast, ‘Farmer’s Inside Track’, featured interviews with up and coming agriculture entrepreneurs and thought-leaders. Their latest podcast for children, ‘Thandi and Captain Safe’, discussed how young learners can stay safe as the pandemic continues in the country.

Volume released a new show, called ‘Access’, that they are producing for the Health Justice Initiative (HJI). The HJI is a recently established law and policy unit that was founded by former Open Society Foundation of South Africa director Fatima Hassan.

Our participants continue to make us proud as they break stories, explain issues and drive innovation in South Africa’s media landscape.

SAMIP’s participants top the charts and empower citizens

South Africa has now been under lockdown for 60 days with no end in sight. Despite the odds, the South Africa Media Innovation Program’s participants have continued the hard work of reporting the news and creating innovative products.

In this week’s episode of Food For Mzansi’s weekly podcast, Farmer’s Inside Track, the digital startup speaks focuses on the importance of indigenous crops. Qinisani Qwabe, an agricultural researcher and soybean farmer, speaks about his love for indigenous vegetables – traditional crops that have been family favourites for decades. Farmer’s Inside Track recently reached the top of Apple Podcast’s business and entrepreneurship podcasts.

Media Diaries highlights Hashtag Our Stories’ new kind of journalism

This week’s episode of Media Diaries: Covid-19 Edition looks focuses on Hashtag Our Stories, a citizen journalism organisation that has gathered together a global network of storytellers, trained them to use their mobile phones to create videos, and post them on social media platforms for millions of people. This series started 8 weeks ago when the lockdown began and it’s still not over. With any luck, there will be a second season.

Empowering you when getting into a lease agreement

Not Yet Uhuru’s latest episode of What’s Love?! focuses on one woman’s struggle with residential harassment. What’s Love?! is a feminist podcast series that empowers South African women with knowledge about love, money, and economic equality. In this episode, financial expert Magauta Mphahlele helps Melanie deal with getting harassed by her neighbour. A must-listen for anyone who is getting into a lease agreement!

Public-health star Dr T part of a growing community of women

QuoteThisWoman+, a non-profit committed to getting more women’s voices heard in South African media, now offers a database of more than 70 expert women’s voices to help journalists understand the impact of COVID-19 on our society. Their latest newsletter profiles gender commissioner, medical doctor, and author Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng.

Appreciating frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Frontline workers are working hard to take us out of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, The Daily Vox profiles Bhelekazi Mdlalose, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders assisting in the government’s contact tracing programme.

Coronavirus in South Africa dashboard

As of 22 May, South Africa has conducted over 525 000 tests and recorded over  19000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There have also been 369 deaths and 8950 recoveries. Media Hack Collective’s Coronavirus in South Africa dashboard has all the latest update on COVID-19.

Viewfinder’s accountability journalism gets the Taco Kuiper nod

As South Africans hope for a further easing of the lockdown and a gradual opening of the economy, three of SAMIP’s participants were shortlisted for the 2019 Taco Kuiper Award for investigative journalism – Daneel Knoetze of Viewfinder, Pauli van Wyk of the Daily Maverick and Sipho Kings from the Mail & Guardian.

It marks a highlight in a week where SAMIP participants continued to keep audiences up to date with the latest news, updates and analysis of the day.

Viewfinder, a South African investigative journalism startup, was named as one of the top four finalists of the Taco Kuiper Award for their investigations of police abuses of power and failing oversight. Viewfinder’s work was also featured this week on the Media Diaries podcast, co-produced by SAMIP participant Volume:

QuoteThisWoman+ now features over 60 women experts to speak on the public health crisis


QuoteThisWoman+, a non-profit start-up that is committed to getting more women’s voices heard in South African media, now offers a database of 64 expert women’s voices to help journalists navigate stormy COVID-19 waters. Their latest newsletter features experts that can speak to public health, the future of work, Africa’s pandemic trajectory, and a host of other issues.

COVID-19 information challenges for rural farmers

In this week’s episode of Food For Mzansi’s weekly farmers’ podcast, Farmer’s Inside Track, the digital media startup speaks to 25-year-old Andile Ngcobo on how limited access to information about COVID-19 has impacted the rural village in which he farms.

Tracking the uptick in infections, death and recoveries

The Coronavirus in South Africa dashboard by Media Hack Collective continues to provide updates on COVID-19 national and provincial infection, death and recoveries rates. Media Hack Collective is a data journalism and digital storytelling organization that aims to make data understandable for a wider audience.

 

Women’s voices are highlighted by SAMIP participants during lockdown

As South Africa entered lockdown level four last week Friday, with a slight easing of restrictions on movement and economic activity, SAMIP participants have continued their work, documenting aspects of life under lockdown.

This week’s Media Diaries: COVID-19 edition podcast features Quote This Woman+ (QW+), a media organization committed to getting more women’s voices heard in South African media across a wide range of subjects. In this episode, Volume explores what it takes to change the media landscape, particularly with how QW+ represents women, and how they deal with the cold during the lockdown in KwaZulu-Natal. In the past few weeks, Media Diaries featured SAMIP participants, #SMWX, Scrolla, Food For Mzansi, Media Hack Collective, and Health e-News.

Keeping up with the COVID-19 hygiene protocols

More people returned to work on Monday and the taxi industry saw an increase in activity under the lockdown level four restrictions. Health-e-News, a digital health news organization reported on the challenges faced by the public transport sector in South Africa in keeping up with the COVID-19 hygiene protocols. The health news media house reported that taxi industries in the Free State, North West, and Limpopo are adhering to hygiene regulations while others are facing challenges such as passengers not wearing masks and shortage of sanitizers.

Showcasing acts of kindness

SAMIP participant Hashtag Our Stories (HOS), a mobile Journalism organization that aims to share global stories from people’s perspectives introduced a COVID 19 kindness series. The series will showcase how people are making a difference in combating COVID-19 challenges. The first video shows how volunteers in Cape Town and Durban distribute meals to the homeless to fight hunger during COVID-19 and social distancing.

Keeping track of the COVID-19 numbers

COVID-19 infection numbers are expected to increase during the lockdown level four period that started on Monday. More people are expected to go back to work as an attempt to slowly open the economy. Media Hack Collective (MHC) data journalism and digital storytelling organization launched a Coronavirus in South Africa DASHBOARDduring stage five of lockdown and continues to provide the updated COVID-19 national and provincial confirmed cases, deaths and test conducted in South Africa.

Engaging people in official languages that are underserved

Scrolla joins SAMIP participant Igunundu Press in publishing news in a vernacular language. Scrolla is a news start-up that redefines the mobile-first user experience by publishing investigations in a series of short updates that are posted daily. Scrolla initially published news in English and this week the mobile-first media house adds isiZulu to its platform. Scrolla launched an isiZulu channel on Ayoba.

As the Covid-19 lockdown eases SAMIP participants break news

On Monday 27 April celebrated Freedom Day a commemoration of the country’s transition to democracy that was heralded by the first democratic elections on that day in 1994. This year was different though, while the country is free democratically, the country is under lockdown as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

From the start of the short work week to the end of it the country saw increase in the number COVID-19 cases: South Africa as of today 01 May 2020 enters into level 4 of lockdown restrictions. Media Hack Collective COVID-19 dashboard continues to provide updated Coronavirus cases, recoveries, and deaths.

The pandemic and the South African government’s response to it have raised questions amongst citizens and in news media. Like many newsrooms that are operating under the restrictions of the lockdown (that was eased into level 4 this morning) the South Africa Media Innovation Program’s (SAMIP) participants continue to put out stellar work on the pandemic, the lockdown and the state of the world.

Youth news site The Daily Vox and investigative journalism start-up Viewfinder both reported on the ongoing abuses by the country’s police that have been perpetrated on the most vulnerable members of society.

Viewfinder broke an important story on the number of people who have been killed since the lockdown was enforced at the end of March. Two of the people reported as being killed had not been reported on by other media in South Africa: one of the victims was a man who was shot and killed in Groblershoop, Northern Cape, and a man was allegedly beaten to death in Lenasia in Gauteng Province.

South Africa enters level 4

As the country transitions into Level 4 (of a 5-level lockdown process) a lot of confusion was at display. Health-e News reported on how the different levels of the lockdown that the government had enacted. Of importance was the government’s decision on the opening of schools and items that South African’s could purchase in each of the levels.

Minister of agriculture, land reform, and rural development Thoko Didiza announced that most of the agriculture sector and its supporting industries will open during the level 4 of the lockdown. Despite the government’s U-turn to continue the ban on sales of cigarettes, Food for Mzansi reported that the minister’s statement is good news for the agricultural industry and that wine industry insiders are optimistic that level 4 might allow for the online selling of wine.

Progress and innovation continues

SAMIP’s participants also continue to innovate and progress with their projects. In this past week The Daily Vox, Media Hack Collective and Viefinder saw major increases in the number of subscriptions to their respective newsletters. You can subscribe to them on their respective sites.

New entrant Stokvel Talk and legacy publication Mail & Guardian both launched WhatsApp news products in the form digital publications that subscribers can receive in their inboxes.

In times like these the ability of news media to adapt and continue to report on society is a welcome sight. We will keep highlighting our participants’ work which is an important commodity during the pandemic we are all experiencing.

SAMIP participants get to grips with Coronavirus reporting

The novel Coronavirus pandemic (known as Covid-19) is has had a global impact that finally hit South Africa’s shores in towards the end of February. It goes without saying that this pandemic has already begun changing our way of life.

The media industry, both at home and abroad, has stepped up to provide up-to-the minute reporting on the growing number of people being infected with the virus as well looking for novel ways to cover how this disease has changed how we interact and conduct our day-to-day affairs. Our participants are no exception in this mission to provide innovative and timely news and information on Covid-19.

Media Hack Collective’s data dashboard

Data journalism startup Media Hack Collective (MHC), in collaboration with Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, developed a dashboard this past weekend to keep track of confirmed Coronavirus infections in South Africa.

MHC co-founder Alastair Otter  says that they made the dashboard publicly available on Monday and by that evening there were as many as 100 people viewing the dashboard at any one time.

“Tuesday morning peaked at 200 concurrent users. Now, on Thursday morning, we have just passed 30,000 views of the dashboard, in just under three days.”

The dashboard displays measurements that include daily infections, a breakdown of age groups of those infected and where the virus has spread in the country among other indicators.

For updates on their dashboard and projects sign up for their weekly newsletter.

Notable highlights

Digital publisher Daily Maverick launched a pop-up newsletter on the impact the Coronavirus is having on SA and our government’s response. The newsletter comes out once a day and is a special edition of theirMaverick Insider newsletter that goes out to members of their membership plan.

isiZulu news publisher Igunundu Press has been providing coverage of the viral outbreak in isiZulu publishing several features on Covid-19 in the latest edition of their flagship publication Bayede News and discussing it on their podcast Ikundla Yabantu Radio.

Youth news site The Daily Vox continues to report on the tertiary education sector and in recent days they’ve begun covering how Covid-19 has impacted higher education as some universities close their doors for early breaks due to the virus.

And if you are looking for information on how best to look after yourself during this period Health-e News released a video on do’s and don’ts when trying to prevent yourself from contracting Coronavirus.

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As the weeks go by we will continue to highlight the stellar work being done by our participants and partners as we deal with the Coronavirus.