As part of enhancing and securing the future of journalism in South Africa, especially during the rise of digital innovation and the spread of disinformation, the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) has delegated ten (10) community media houses in the country to participate in a study tour in the United States of America (USA).
AIP made the announcement in December 2022 of its selection of ten community publishers that will be taking part in the 21-day US study trip, as part of an exciting new partnership project to build the sustainability of print and online community media.
This has been exciting news for the managing member of Med8 Media and publisher of a number of independent community newspapers in South Africa, Chris Mcinga, to be taking part in the trip.
With over 15 years in the community news media, he has seen the digital transformation of larger media organizations, however, not much in the independent media space (Radio and Newspapers), remarked Mcinga.
“The trip promises possibilities in shaping the future for all media in South Africa, which is why we encourage all news media organisation’s to engage with the delegates before they go abroad. This is to allow the news organization an opportunity to share their challenges and success stories which will be used to come up with sustainable strategies for the sector” said Mcinga.
Earlier this year, AIP was granted funds through the US Embassy in South Africa to partner with one of the world’s leading academic institutions focused on journalism, the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) within the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, USA.
The publishers were chosen through a rigorous and complex selection process from a list of over 60 applications. An independent panel of community media experts analysed applicants’ print and online presence, originality of content, AIP activity participation and dedication to community media.
The overarching aim of the study tour is for each of the 10 publishers to develop a unique, relevant sustainability plan for their publication. This will include building partnerships with local radio and TV stations, NGOs, government, and other local role players.
Sustainability should be the focal point for all legacy media businesses. You can’t talk sustainability without touching on topics such as digital transformation and innovation,” said one of the selected publishers, Chris Mcinga.
On their return to South Africa, the publishers will participate in four workshops organised around the country to consolidate and extend their learning and to share lessons with other publishers.
The US trip is planned for the US summer of 2023.
The ten community publications selected to take part are:
- Dizindaba (Western Cape)
- Intuthuko (KwaZulu-Natal)
- Likhanyile Group (National)
- MeD8 (National)
- Muslim Views (National)
- Nhluvuko Nthavela (Limpopo)
- Pondoland Times (Eastern Cape)
- The Informer (Eastern Cape)
- ThisAbility (National)
- Xenor (Gauteng).
Managing Member at Med8 Media Christopher Mcinga jetting off to the USA!
Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity.
Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS.
Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.