GroundUp community journalism initiative gaining ground
The GroundUp initiative, a community journalism project in which the CSSR is a founding partner, is starting to get noticed. Its focus is on stories from South African townships, especially stories related to social justice and that are underreported in the mainstream media. It has already published a range of important stories on health, immigrants' rights (including a scoop exposing corruption at the Maitland Refugee Reception Centre) and public transport. Its recent Focus on Transport series chronicles the experiences of commuters in Cape Town and details weaknesses in Cape Town's public transport system, but also celebrates the fledgling MyCiTi service and includes an editorial on getting Cape Town's transport right. The CSSR supports GroundUp by assisting with training and mentorship of community journalists by CSSR graduate students.
Rebecca Davis writes about Groundup in The Daily Maverick:
The programme began in February, when 24 candidates took part in an intensive two-week training course. Of that group, the five most promising individuals were selected to make up the GroundUp team. They receive ongoing on-the-job training and support from UCT students from the Centre for Social Science Research, who also help out as subeditors. In April, GroundUp began to publish stories on their website.
“Our primary focus is news relating to social justice in the townships,” says Geffen. He points out that, though South Africa’s tabloids and community newspapers carry a great deal of township-based stories, they often lack focus on issues like health, gender and government performance.
Read GroundUp's stories at groundup.org.za.