Ricochet News

New Wits Journalism and Media Innovation Hub Open for Applications Now

JUNE 2, 2017
New Wits Journalism and Media Innovation Hub Open for Applications Now

Applications open today for a new six-month innovation support programme for existing or new South African journalism and media teams. The Journalism and Media Accelerator (JAMLAB) will be home to innovators who want to develop new forms of journalism and also reach new, younger, audiences.

JAMLAB 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 runs from July at 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, start-up 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 will be seeking to ensure that JAMLAB addresses historic inequalities of opportunities in South Africa and that those who are selected are a diverse group of people who understand and want to engage the widest range of South African audiences. 

The partners are especially keen to see women and women led teams apply.

Indra de Lanerolle, JAMLAB director, says: “We are looking for great 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.”

JAMLAB is a programme of Wits Journalism and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering in partnership with Ryerson University, Toronto and Journalists for Human Rights.

Prof Barry Dwolatzky, director, JCSE and founder of Tshimologong Precinct, says that this is an exciting collaboration: “We are delighted to work with such esteemed partners to focus on creating new ideas that bring technology and journalism closer together. 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.”

To apply or find out more about the programme visit http://medium.com/jamlab, follow @jamlabafrica on Twitter or on Facebook Facebook.com/jamlabafrica. Applications close on 9 June, 2017.