The latest State of the Newsroom report looks back on 2021 and explores whether innovative media start-ups, data journalism and local media hold the promise for a revitalised media landscape in South Africa. The focus of this issue is on local print and online media, and on ‘independent’ news outlets – donor-funded organisations such as amaBhungane, Bhekisisa and GroundUp, as well as newer start-ups such as The Outlier.

Media freedoms

There is a resurgence of journalists harassed by political groups and targeted by criminals and the public after lockdown restrictions eased.

Facing the challenges in community radio

According to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), in June 2022 there were 231 licensed community radio stations broadcasting in the language(s) of the communities. Despite the successes of community radio, the industry faces financial challenges threatening its survival.

The resilient vulnerability of independent newsrooms

Gaps in the mainstream news in the South African media landscape have meant that small, independent newsrooms – many of them donor-funded – have played a prominent role in news production in areas such as investigative reporting, health news and human rights journalism for a number of years now. Small newsrooms are an opportunity for testing new ideas and for change.

Read the full report here.

Watch the discussion here.



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