Community Journalism Spotlight – Opportunities for Youth and Community Stations

With funding support from the US Consulate in Johannesburg, Duke MMX partnered with The Children’s Radio Foundation and Activate! South Africa to bring 20 youth reporters and station managers from community radio stations around South Africa to 2017’s inaugural program. It is with sincere enthusiasm and real appreciation for the work they do as community media that we welcomed these journalists to the MMX conversation. The CJS team attended all the programming, two days of workshops, panels, keynotes, videos, and networking receptions, allowing for opportunities to advance their knowledge and understanding of the media sector, and importantly, to share their own experiences, insights and concerns, to showcase their work and skills, to network, build relationships, and compare practices, and to raise the visibility of a community broadcasting sector that is all too often an afterthought in mainstream conversations. The MMX Community Journalism Spotlight Fellows and mentors hosted two special workshops including “Local Truths in Community Radio”, and a “Community Journalism Roundtable: Covering Community Stories”, that were well-attended by the delegate community which was very responsive, curious and encouraging, and which created opportunities for ongoing engagement.

I’ve gained so much as a young reporter from attending this conference. I’m grateful for the opportunity I got to learn from experienced people and the confidence I gained interviewing some of them.”

– Ntebo Mohlala, a reporter from Mams FM

 My highlights were networking with the big players and interviewing influential people through the CRF pop-up studio. I’m really glad I got this opportunity.”

– Alex FM presenter Neo “Cappuccino” Dithloiso

With the support of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in South Africa

The Consulate General’s grant to U.S.-based Duke University also enabled the Children’s Radio Foundation (CRF) to share their expertise on best practices for community media, including a pop-up studio where the young reporters were able to interview leaders in the media industry.

U.S. Consul General Mike McCarthy reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to media development, noting that “community radio plays a critical role in disseminating information on everything from health care to politics across the country. Community radio’s importance to South Africans cannot be underestimated and we are delighted to have helped MMX17 extend the reach of its programming to South African reporters who might otherwise not have benefited. We are especially pleased to have done this in partnership with such an esteemed American university as Duke.”

The conference was one of several academic exchange and professional development programs supported by the U.S. Mission throughout the year. These programs, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, promote dialogue and encourage mutual understanding between Americans and South Africans.

Find out more about our programs at The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in South Africa

What touched my heart was seeing these young people stand up in front of a room full of people in their workshop and so confidently share their personal experiences about learning and growing as youth journalists and how they work in their communities.”