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Welcome to our fortnightly newsletter, now arriving earlier in the week, where we share insights on journalism and media innovation in Africa.

In this week's newsletter, you will find two reviews, one on how trust in the media has significantly increased over the past year and another on what governments can do to support journalism. Find a summary of our most recent Jamlab Meetup, the latest video from Jamlab fellow and satirical news explainer, Politically Aweh. Read more about ideas on attracting young audiences through better usage of digital tools.

And don't forget to sign up and join us on Thursday, for the Digital News Report Africa launch at 12:00CAT.

And as always, you'll find our regular list of opportunities and upcoming events. 

If you have friends and colleagues who prefer reading this newsletter in French, let them know to sign up here.

- Jamlab Africa Team
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Latest from the magazine

Starting small | What are the unique ways of raising funds when traditional avenues have failed? How can innovators fund their ideas? Or, what are funders and donors looking for when assessing your application? These questions were answered in our most recent Jamlab Meetup. Learn more through this written piece and recording.

Digital News Report |  This latest report from the Reuters Institute points to the role that social media and the internet are playing in the spread of misinformation in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. It also posits that trust in the media has significantly increased as more people turned to reliable and accurate information at a time when their lives are at stake.

Harnessing digital tools |  South Africa's big three media organisations are not using the full potential of digital tools to attract young audiences. According to research these media organisations are not “investing in strategies to reposition themselves adequately within the changing landscape, as they have not all mastered producing content for their websites.” 

In stitches |  Jamlab fellow, Politically Aweh, has helped play a role in raising public awareness about an issue critical to the future economic and environmental wellbeing of South Africa. Through the satirical video, the team highlighted the many problems with the SA government’s plan to procure emergency power from the Turkish company, Karpowership, at an eye-watering R218 billion price tag.

Strengthening democracy |  The working group on the Sustainability of Journalism have presented a report with policy recommendations for governments across the world to support the ailing journalism industry. One of the recommendations is for a government contribution of 0.1% of annual GDP to go towards financially supporting the journalism industry, which will help strengthen democracy.

Digital News Report 2021 Africa Launch

In this special Jamlab Meetup in partnership with the Reuters Institue for the Study of Journalism, we will be launching the Digital News Report 2021, focusing on Africa and delve into what the findings from the report means for the news market in our region.

In addition to the leading editors from the continent joining this conversation, Code For Africa's deputy CEO, Chris Roper, who contributed findings for South Africa and Nigeria will share some insights from the report.

Join us on Thursday at 12:00 CAT for this discussion. Sign up below.
Nic Newman
Senior research associate 
Nic is a journalist and digital strategist who played a key role in shaping the BBC's internet services over more than a decade. He was a founding member of the BBC News Website, leading international coverage as World Editor.
Adesola Afolabi
Deputy Editor at Stears Business 
Adesola is a passionate editor, a skilled writer and an excellent communicator. Before joining Stears Business, she also acquired experience through stints and training with international publishers such as the Financial Times, Reuters and Bloomberg.
Ron Derby
Editor-in-Chief at Mail & Guardian
Ron has an illustrious career in business journalism spanning nearly 20 years. Prior to joining M&G, he held various senior roles, the most recent being the editor at FIN24, the business unit of News24, and editor of the Business Times in South Africa. 
Jamila Mohamed
Managing Editor at Citizen Television 
Jamila is a Kenyan journalist with over 20 years experience in broadcast journalism. She has previously worked at the Nation Media Group for 17 years in various capacities. She has covered elections and referendums in East Africa as well as ICC cases in Hague, Netherlands.
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Save the date

Don't forget to schedule Jamfest into your calendar for five days in September. The theme for this year’s festival is “DIY Africa”. We want to encapsulate the role of media and journalism in not just carrying new narratives, but also empowering different voices and amplifying the rise of new, independent actors in helping to define and drive the future of innovation in newsrooms across Africa.

Opportunities & Awards

West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards // 30 June // The Awards are opened to journalists from print, electronic and online media in Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone countries in West Africa. 

The Allard Video Competition // 30 June // Filmmakers and storytellers can submit a video on corruption and human rights issues to this contest. Entries can be documentary in nature or cover stories focusing on corruption or human rights issues. 

Constructive Journalism Fellowship // 14 July // The program combines tailored training and networking opportunities. It offers selected fellows from the Middle East and Africa a unique and exclusive opportunity to learn, connect and exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues.

Interested in any of these? Click here for more information on these opportunities and more.

Coming up

Digital Media Africa // 06 - 07 July  // Join the fifth edition of WAN-IFRA’s flagship Africa event to tackle topics affecting your media company. This special virtual edition was meant to be held in May but was pushed forward to July. It will be a two-day event packed with sessions looking into subscription strategies, revenue generation, as well as trust in media and journalism.

Radio Days Africa // 05 - 16 July // Radio Days Africa (RDA) is the largest radio conference in Africa and it aims to promote conversations around radio’s role in the audio revolution. Now in its 12th year, the conference themed “Audio Amplified”, will take place over 10 days with a morning and afternoon session. This year also sees the first kiSwahili exclusive session with Washa Radio.

Zim New Media Summit // 21 - 23 July // The conference whose theme is “Reimagining Journalism and Democracy in Times of Crisis” will be held virtually. The purpose of the festival is to showcase the best of African journalism, encourage local newsrooms to share ideas that can be replicated by others and get feedback for their products, especially those launched during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Find more details on the above-listed events and more.
Please send any news, feedback, suggestions, ideas, comments and anything we may have missed to
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The Jamlab newsletter and magazine is supported by the Open Society Foundations' Program on Independent Journalism. Jamlab is a project of Wits Journalism and Tshimologong and is supported by Sida through the Charm Consortium. 
Copyright © 2021, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. All rights reserved.

Jamlab is a programme of Wits Journalism and the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct. Jamlab is grateful for the generous support of Civicus and the Charm Consortium.

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