We are proud to announce the 2019 cohort for the Journalism and Media Lab Accelerator Programme which starts in January. This six-month hothouse accelerator initiative for journalism and media innovators will provide teams with tools, facilities, contacts and support to help realise their ideas and ambitions.

The teams were chosen by a team of adjudicators including JamLab director and Wits Journalism adjunct lecturer Indra de Lanerolle, Caxton Professor of Journalism Anton Harber, Lesley Williams, chief executive of the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, Tshepo Tshabalala, editor of JamLab publications and JamLab journalist Melissa Zisengwe.

Here are some brief introductions to the teams:

Club Readership is a book and digital book publishing outfit. The team’s aim is to of get African’s on the continent and in the diaspora to engage on African books written by African authors. Their focus is to grow and scale their initiative.

Credipple is an online agency that connects clients to professionals in the creative and cultural industry. This team of three friends, Kgololo Lekoma, Sibusiso Manentsa and Lethabo Sekhu, through their digital platform, help young professionals in the creative industry to find work through portfolio management to enhance client trust in employing new talent.

Media Hack Collective is dedicated to quality data journalism, visualisation and the craft of digital storytelling. The team, made up of Alastair Otter and Laura Grant, match traditional journalism with data analysis, programming and design skills to produce high-quality social interest journalism that is compelling and accessible. They hope to build and start realising a viable business model.

Politically Aweh is a news satirical show produced by Bouncing Biscuit Studios. The team, led by Stephen Horn aims to build their video satire show into a big media brand in South Africa. They hope to scale content and to develop viable products they could sell to make their work sustainable.

Quote This Woman+ aims to build a database of credible experts of women and under-represented voices that newsrooms can easily access. Women and other marginalised voices are under-represented in South Africa’s popular media. Quote this Woman+, led by Kathy Magrobi, aims to broaden the pool of experts from which news organisations rely on.

The New Era is an initiative that seeks to bring seven community newspapers together on a digital platform. Based in a small town of Bushbuck Ridge in Mpumalanga, about 400km north-west of Johannesburg, the initiative wants to take advantage of the reach of digital media in a struggling community or local news environment

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