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Wits University today opened applications for a new six-month innovation support programme aimed at existing or new South African journalism and media teams.
In a press release to Ventureburn, Wits said the Journalism and Media Accelerator (Jamlab) will be home to innovators who want to develop new forms of journalism and reach new, younger, audiences.
The initiative will provide participating teams with the tools, facilities, contacts and the support necessary to realise their ideas and ambitions, combining professional mentorship with a collaborative and creative tech advanced working space.
Up to six teams will be selected for the programme which starts in July at the Wits Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein. This will be the first accelerator programme to launch at Tshimologong.
Successful applicants will receive:
- A six-month fellowship at Wits Journalism.
- Free workspace and membership at the new Tshimologong Precinct co-working space.
- Mentorship and coaching from experienced media, startup and tech experts, and entrepreneurs.
- Free places on a three-month Wits “Creating the Media” certificate course.
- Access to a software development team at Tshimologong.
- Opportunities to pitch to potential investors and funders.
Jamlab aims to address past historic inequalities and is particularly aimed at women and women-led teams.
Jamlab director Indra de Lanerolle said the accelerator is looking for new ideas that can change the media and journalism landscape.
“We want strong teams that are passionate about stories, information, opinion and ideas. They must also have a keen interest to engage with new audiences. Whether non-profit or for profit, brand new or old hands, as long as you have the energy to do something new that can make a real difference to media and journalism in South Africa,” said De Lanerolle.
Professor Barry Dwolatzky, JCSE director and founder of Tshimologong Precinct, said the initiative is an exciting collaboration. “As the first accelerator programme to launch at the precinct, we are both excited and happy to host the next generation of journalists and media moguls.”