We are proud to announce the 2020 fellows for the Journalism and Media Lab’s Accelerator Programme which started on February 11, at Tshimologong in Johannesburg. 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.

Here are some brief introductions to the teams:

pocketstudio is a tech start up that aims to transform the audio-visual industry by utilising the latest developments in AI and Machine Learning to match brands and production companies to the next wave of African content creators. They do this through their online marketplace where clients can post briefs which are matched to the relevant practitioners so that clients can increase productivity and freelancers can enjoy greater job security. Award-winning filmmaker, Siyabonga Mkholo, is the founder of pocketstudio.

Track My Mayor maintains a database of mayors’ promises in South Africa to assist overstretched newsrooms in keeping track of what was promised and when promises are due. It distinguishes itself from other promise-tracking projects in that it aims to achieve scale by helping journalists do their jobs. If the project succeeds, media coverage of mayors’ delivery on their promises (or the lack thereof) will increase, to the benefit of accountability. Award-winning journalist, Liesl Pretorius is the founder of Track My Mayor.

Jabari is a development agency that designs sustainable solutions to community-based organisations. They tailor-make solutions and interventions that focus on strategies, processes and content in order to help organisations improve their performance. Asare’s work seeks to disrupt current revenue models in order to equalise the revenue playing field in favour of community-based organisations. Development practitioner, Simonia Mashangoane and media and development practitioner, Khutso Tsikane are co-founders of Asare Development Agency.

Ikemele- Rise Up and Show Up for Yourself, is a project running under Coffee Colour Communications, from Thaba Nchu in the Free State province of South Africa, which is the place that inspired the project. The goal is to report issues faced especially by rural communities using solutions based journalism with a high incorporation of visual storytelling, community engagement and initiative. Galoome Shopane, a journalist by profession, and photographer, Fana Namane make up the team behind Coffee Colour Communications.

Mata Africa is a data-driven, mobile first video platform. We craft data-driven branded documentary and branded programming for African youth audiences by youth audiences. The project was built out of the desire to craft a space for young filmmakers to produce cutting-edge digital content. As such, they partner with young people to craft short-form digital series, films and digital channels. Founders of Mata Africa and also sisters, Pumulo and Elly Ngoma are a passionate team of pan-African film, media and data nerds

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