Empowering Women in Media: QW+ and AIP Introduce the R2 Million Innovation Fund backed by 1st For Women launched on the 22 September 2023 at the prestigious Emoyeni Estate, Parktown, Johannesburg. The launch breakfast backed up by a number of generous sponsors such as 1st for Women, Sanlam, Nedbank, Hollard, SAMIP (South African Media Innovation Programme), Workshop 17, Avbob, Caxton, GCRO, and Daily Maveric.
PHOTOS BY: Paul Mahlasela from Lenyora Visuals
ABOUT THE FUND
Community media, Quote This Woman+ (QW+) and the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) today announced the launch of a new R2 Million Innovation Fund, which has been kickstarted with a donation of R100 000 by 1st for Women Insurance.
Ensuring that the voices of women get the greatest chance to be heard; and to strengthen and democratise media from the grassroots up, the initiative is called “The Look, Listen, Local Innovation Fund”.
Announcing the innovation fund launch, QW+ director Kath Magrobi explained that her organisation and AIP had decided to collaborate on this fund, and to launch it in Women’s Month, because both see the need to centre women in South African media. The Innovation Fund aims to amplify women’s voices and provide critical support for journalists and editors working in the media.
“We’re delighted to have 1st for Women as our primary sponsor, kickstarting the Look, Listen, Local Innovation Fund into being. The fund has a specific focus on empowering community-first media; where women sources, journalists, editors and news consumers, who have been underserved for too long, are in critical need of support. Our Innovation Fund gives us a chance to start to reimagine community newsrooms that properly serve their communities with reporting that is inclusive and reflective of the diverse and complex community needs,” says Magrobi.
Seugnette van Wyngaard, head of 1st for Women Insurance, congratulated QW+ and AIP on taking the necessary steps to establish the fund, saying “The importance of closing the gender gap in the media cannot be overstated. This is how we start giving girls the role models they need, and start ensuring South Africa gets to hear women’s voices in the news speaking truth to power on important issues. We need to be able to turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper and tap on a media article and not just get the opinions of men over and over again – we are thrilled to get women’s fearless voices into the spotlight.”
Kate Skinner, director of AIP, contextualised the fund saying that journalists need support now more than ever as the media industry has been under threat from budget cuts, retrenchments and mis and dis-information. The fund would allow AIP to strengthen community media publishers, ensure they produce a rich diversity of content reflecting women and other marginalised voices and to assist publishers to go online.
Filling the fund coffers
The Look, Listen, Local Innovation Fund will officially come into being on 22 September at a corporate donor media breakfast, where 15 corporate sponsors will “buy” a table that will be hosted by women thought-leaders from the QW+ database, as well as by editors, journalists and publishers from across SA’s media who have thrown their weight behind the Innovation Fund. Giggles guaranteed – comedian Noko Moswete will MC the event. The price of each table will be the sponsorship needed to make up the R2 Million Innovation fund.
So far the media list includes Nwabisa Makunga, Editor of the Sowetan, Heather Robertson, Editor of DM168, Katy Katopodis, co-founder of Nala Media and Newzroom Africa Editorial advisor, Verashni Pillay, media editor/expert, Phathiswa Magopeni, previous head of SABC News and now COO of Bhekisisa, Joanne Joseph, broadcast journalist and author—with more confirming every day.
Community publishers include Mbali Dhlomo, Intuthuko Newspapers; Slindile Khanyile, Umbele; Thembisa Mjiba-Makasi, iDikelethu News; Octavia Hlungwani, Phofula Golden Highway Voice; Anetta Mangxaba, Dzindaba News and Moipone Malefane from Vutivi Business News.
Khadija Patel, a top investigative journalist and journalist-in-residence at the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM) will lead the panel discussion at the breakfast, where political thought-leader, Mbali Ntuli will be joined by Mamokete Lijane, SA’s leading finance and economy expert, and Mbali Dhlomo, a community news specialist, to talk about radical democracy vs open democracy; what it will take to make South Africans become discerning media consumers in the context of the upcoming elections; South Africa’s media landscape; and what is really happening in communities in South Africa and at the grassroots level.
Table sales are limited to 15, and disappearing fast: any corporates who would like to participate are invited to reach out to QW+ or AIP.
Can’t make the event? Support the Innovation Fund with a donation anyway – click here to go to Backabuddy.