Right to Left: Chris Mcinga (MeD8 Media), Sithembile Zondo (North Coast Radio), Monwabisi Khininda (Ikhwezi laseMthatha), Langelihle Lucas Chagwe (Izwi Lomphakathi Newspaper)

Johannesburg: SANEF recognises the critical importance of community media to the overall diversity of the media industry. However, community media operate in a challenging economic environment. Many print and broadcast newsrooms struggle to diversify their content distribution and revenue options to include digital platforms with potential future growth.

To address this, SANEF invites independent newsrooms to join community media digitisation drive to be a part of the second call of the programme.

This programme is aimed at assisting print and broadcast community media organisations to map out their online media strategies, and to develop sustainable websites, workflows and other digital media platforms.

Furthermore, the programme will assist newsrooms to enhance their content creation and distribution practices, while fully using all available digital tools.

This second call will help participants set up tools and workflows for digital newsgathering, multimedia production, content management, as well as publication to the web and social media. Optional modules such as streaming, podcasting services, and different platforms (e.g. WhatsApp, TikTok) will also be provided.

Training and ongoing support will be provided by a help desk, the Community Media Support Service (CMSS).

Currently, there are already some community media print publishers and a community radio station participating in the SANEF Community Media Digitisation Drive.

To qualify, your organisation will need to:

1. Be a community media organisation that lacks or has an underperforming digital presence.

2. Primarily operate in the community media sector (print and/or broadcast).

3. Have at least 3 years of experience in regular production and dissemination of news content to a defined audience. Basic existing systems for gathering news and information, editing, and other processing content for publication and distribution.

4. Have staff and/or volunteers with the necessary basic skills (computer literacy: use of internet browsers, Word processors) to integrate, operate, update, and sustain the websites, tools, and processes that they learn about and receive during the pilot.

5. Have healthy relationships with local businesses that would be open to trying new or additional forms of advertising and partnerships.

6. Subscribe to and abide by the South African Press Code of the Press Council and/or the BCCSA Code.

7. Be registered as a company, co-operative, or NPO.

Applications are open until 20 October 2023

An independent panel of media experts will assess the applications. The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

1. This is a second call for applications. Organisations that applied in response to the first call should not apply again as their applications will automatically be considered for the second round.

2. Applications are open to independent publishers/community broadcasters with or without existing websites.

3. The specific support provided to each selected participant will be customised according to their specific needs. For example, applicants who already have a WordPress website will probably not receive a new website but, depending on the project team’s evaluation of their existing sites, might receive support to improve their existing sites.

4. Selected participants will also play a mentorship role to support others, to encourage skills transfer within the sector.

To apply for this programme, please fill in the application form here:
















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