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New year, more SAMIP

The year started off with a bang for the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP). With 12 grantees under our banner, and more to come, we have our work cut out for us in 2019. 

Last year we ran workshops, trainings and other interventions in order to assist our grantees in growing their projects and businesses. We also attended a number of events and networking opportunities with our fellow media partners and will do so again this year.

A quick December update

December was a crazy month for SAMIP and while we were quiet on the website as 2018 came to a close, we were all over the show in the final stretch of the year. 

The program officer, Siyabonga Africa, and program assistant, Lerato Mashianoke, travelled to the Eastern Cape for Highway Africa which has been dubbed the largest news media conference on the African continent. The program officer was invited to run a workshop on media entrepreneurship and to deliver the keynote address on the final day of the conference that was held at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.

Siyabonga Africa was interviewed by SAfm’s Sakina Kamwendo during Highway Africa on media entrepreneurship.

At the same time the Open Society Foundation of South Africa was holding its 25th anniversary celebrations that were attended by our program manager, Bilal Randeree. The program got a special mention from OSF president Patrick Gaspard.

Onwards and forwards

After our December break the program reconvened with plans to further develop the current cohort of participants whilst also looking to add new ones and potentially investing in them too.

Our first meeting with the grantees saw the program flying in delegates from each project to Johannesburg for a kick-off event at the Wits Journalism department in Braamfontein. There we were hosted by Africa Check, a fact-checking non-profit that has stellar work in debunking falsehoods and misinformation on the continent.

We were given a presentation on the work Africa Check does by its TRI Facts general manager Aniesha Bulbulia, TRI Facts head of partnerships and engagement Nishen Naicker, and Africa Check acting deputy chief editor Kate Wilkinson. 

Some of the interesting projects we were shown include their Promise Tracker which keeps tabs on the promises made by three incumbent political parties in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

Afterwards we updated our grantees on the status of the program and our plans for the year ahead.

2019 and beyond

Beyond January the program will be hosting workshops on native advertising, memberships and subscriptions and many more topics in the space of digital media. 

We are always looking for new and innovative ideas so if you haven’t already please fill in our enquiry form.

We look forward to pushing the boundaries of innovation and transformation in local media and to that end we wish you all a happy and successful 2019.

OSF and JamLab offer great opportunities for SA journos

The South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) doesn’t work in a vacuum. We have at times partnered with similar organizations in the pursuit of promoting innovation in journalism in South Africa. In that regard both the Open Society Foundation’s (OSF) Innovation in Journalism program and the Journalism Media Lab (JamLab) have announced two exciting opportunities.

OSF’s program is inviting investigative journalists and creatives to submit their ideas for collaborative projects that aim at reporting on the 2019 national elections. The projects can span in the spaces of theatre, music, interactive technology, amongst others.

Those who are selected will attend a two-day workshop where creatives and journalists will work together on their projects. At the workshop each team will have the opportunity to pitch for a grant of up to $25,000 (~R359,000) to be created and distributed before the elections.

For more information go to: https://osf.app.box.com/s/a5zwe8iu3w44qzaatuxiojqiefxyx9l4

At the same time JamLab is making a call for entries to its accelerator program which is based at the Tshimologong Precinct in Johannesburg. The program is targeted at journalists and media makers with innovative projects/initiatives.

The incubation will last for six months during which period the entrants will have access to JamLab and Tshimologong’s resources to fast track their initiatives.

For more information go to: https://medium.com/jamlab/apply-now-for-the-2019-jamlab-accelerator-programme-95794b348dc2

All the best to those who apply and we wish you well in your innovative journalism projects.