Remember remember the month of November

In South Africa the month of November is punctuated with fireworks during Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by the local Hindi population, and Guy Fawkes, a British celebration that still brings out the cracker enthusiasts in our country.

The South Africa Media Innovation had its own explosive month with events and developments galore. It’s hard to think that our small program is just one year old with all the work done with our grantees and our interactions with our partners in the media.

The main highlight for the program were the awards our grantees bagged at the WAN-IFRA Digital Media Africa Awards which took place after the conference which was held in Sandton on 23 November. Several of our grantees were nominated in categories ranging from Best Digital StartUp, Best Data Visualization and Best Reader Revenue Initiative.

The grantees that walked away awards were:

Daily Maverick: runner up for Best Website, runner up for Best Reader Revenue Initiative

Hashtag Our SA:  runner up for Best use of Online Video

Children’s Radio Foundation: winner of Best Innovation for Youth Engagement

We’re proud of our grantees for all they have achieved this past year.

During the conference our program manager, Bilal Randeree, sat with Frayintermedia founder and managing director Paula Fray to discuss media entrepreneurship which is at the heart of what we do.

In collaboration Code for Africa SAMIP held another round of Perfect Pitch, this time in the Mother City. The theme for this run was innovative revenue models which SAMIP is in search of as we continue to add to our growing cohort of participants.

We saw six great pitches, including a wildcard submission from CfAfrica’s very own program manager Ashlin Simpson. Our judges featured our usual shark, MDIF entrepreneur in residence, Matthew Buckland, SAMIP advisory committee member Dinesh Balliah and CfAfrica’s program director Chris Roper.

At the end of session three winners emerged: The Good Tree, Radcast and Podmeet.

After our short detour in Cape Town our program officer and assistant (Siyabonga Africa and Lerato Mashianoke) traveled to the Eastern Cape where Highway Africa 2018 was held in Makana (Grahamstown).

Our program officer took part in the conference where he delivered the keynote speech on the final day of the conference and participated in a panel discussion on media entrepreneurship.

Back in Cape Town the Open Society Foundation South Africa held its 25th anniversary celebrations which featured tributes to its founder George Soros. As one of two programs being funded by OSF-SA, SAMIP got a mention by OSF vice-president Patrick Gaspard who was at the launch of our program last year.

November was quite the month for us and we look forward to the close of the year and the start of an even better more impactful 2019.

Perfect Pitch 2: Battle of the Revenue Streams

“There is no general model for independent newspapers to replace the one the Internet broke”

Clay Shirky

After the successful debut of the South Africa Media Innovation Program’s (SAMIP) pitch battle at this year’s Duke Menell Media Exchange, SAMIP is pleased to announce the second run of Perfect Pitch at Code for Africa’s Media Indaba Extra.

This time the theme is around revenue streams and business models.

In these trying times media companies are struggling with shrinking revenue streams and outdated business models. In the past couple of months the local industry has seen retrenchments being announced at the SABC, Independent Media, both coming off the heels of Tiso Blackstar Group closing down the print edition of The Times and laying off staff.  

SAMIP and Code for Africa are calling on entrepreneurs, journalists and media owners with innovative revenue generating projects, organisations and startups to come pitch at Perfect Pitch 2.

The pitching session will take place the day before Media Indaba Extra, 27 November, at Code for Africa’s offices in Cape Town. The selected participants will get a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including SAMIP team members and Burn Media founder Matthew Buckland.  

In order to be eligible your entry needs to be generating revenue or be an innovative business model, and it should be in operation for at least the last six months. While concepts are awesome, they won’t be eligible for entry.

So hurry up and enter by filling in this form.


And the next lit news startup is…

GSport 4 Girls, Politcally Aweh and Quintessential ZA walked away with the grand prize at the SAMIP/Duke Menell Media Exchange’s first ever pitch battle called Perfect Pitch.

The three winners were part of a group of eight invited startups who got the chance to pitch their projects to our esteemed panel of judges consisting of: MDIF entrepreneur in residence Matthew Buckland, Wits Journalism lecturer and SAMIP advisory committee member Dinesh Baliah and SAMIP program manager Bilal Randeree.

The winning startups will get a chance to be entered into our program through general applications, whilst also receiving some valuable mentoring from Buckland.

The teams behind the winning pitches are:

GSport 4 Girls: Kass Naidoo and Ryk Meiring

GSport 4 Girls was established in August 2006 to raise the profile of women’s sport in SA and tell the ‘good story’ while encouraging Corporate South Africa to back our female athletes.

Politically Aweh: Stephen Horn

Politically Aweh is a video-first news & politics media brand. We are creating a high quality infotainment show in association with the award-winning online news publication, Daily Maverick.

Quintessential ZA: Quintus Potgeiter and Tayla Welch

Quintessential ZA is a content hub that has more than 9 podcasts running concurrently and a presence on YouTube. Quintessential ZA is building a new nation with the next generation. Their presenters are empowering their communities with quintessentially South African podcasts, video content, articles, and more.