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The Jamlab Accelerator Programme : Journalism and media innovation reporting grants 2020

Updated on Jun 10, 2020 1237 views
The Jamlab Accelerator Programme : Journalism and media innovation reporting grants 2020

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Journalism and media innovation reporting grants 2020

Accelerator Programme

The jamlab accelerator programme is a six-month hothouse accelerator programme for journalism and media innovators. It provides teams with the tools, facilities, contacts, and support necessary to realise their ideas and ambitions.

The programme focuses on journalism and media innovators with potential to transform information, conversation and public space.

Teams on the programme receive:

  • A six month fellowship at Wits Journalism
  • Free workspace at the new Tshimologong Precinct co-working space
  • Mentorship and coaching from experienced media, start-up and tech experts and entrepreneurs
  • Free places on a three-month “Creating the Media” certificate course at Wits
  • Access to a software development team at Tshimologong
  • Opportunities to pitch to potential investors and funders

At the end of their time on the programme, the teams will pitch to potential investors and donors with MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

The Programme

The Journalism and Media Lab (jamlab) is inviting journalists to submit proposals for grants of up to ZAR20,000 for in-depth reporting on subjects surrounding journalism and media innovations and innovators in Africa.

Jamlab Africa is a project by the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. We support innovation that grows and transforms journalism and media in Africa whilst developing media that meets the needs of more audiences through innovation, entrepreneurship and research. Our vision is to see ‘new ideas, new information, new conversations reaching new audiences in Africa’.

This grant will aid journalists during their discovery, development and creation of written work on ideas where others are seen to be innovators. In order to apply for this particular grant, journalists are encouraged to submit proposals that focus on enabling innovators, journalists and media professionals to find information they need to help them innovate.

The following are potential focus areas to guide applicants:

  • Case studies based on real world examples that inspire, warn or make you think differently about innovations or innovators within journalism and media in Africa.
  • Profiles of innovators within the journalism and media arena in Africa.
  • Research report on media sustainability, business models, newsroom metrics and analytics.

We published several pieces on the above subjects that may be used as guidelines for what this grant would support. The first is a Kenyan blog that highlights a new way to monetize digital content and the second example is an article on an open-source toolkit in Uganda.

These are suggested areas of focus but journalists can also pursue others, as long as the focus is within the broader journalism and media innovation framework and are based preferably outside of South Africa.

All applications will be handled with strict confidentiality and will be reviewed by a panel selected by the Wits Journalism.

How to apply

Please address an email with the heading APPLICATION: JAMLAB INNOVATION REPORTING GRANT and containing the following items (attachments in MS Word or PDF formats) to [email protected]

  • Applicant CV including list of previous reporting
  • A brief proposal for article/s to be written, and include a proposed headline

This grant is intended for reporting costs, and remote reporting during covid-19 is encouraged. The value of grant award is at the discretion of the Jamlab Africa team and is based on the complexity of the pitch.

For any further questions please send an email to [email protected].

Only successful applications will be contacted.


Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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