Jul 2023 1st edition

MDDA opens the call for grant funding applications

The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) is encouraging community media broadcasters to apply for grant funding.

Community broadcast projects, including radio, television, and community print publications, as well as small commercial print are invited to apply.

“This year, the MDDA is celebrating 20 years of fulfilling its mandate by providing grant funding and other support, intending to encourage media ownership, access and control to media, particularly by historically disadvantaged communities and diminished indigenous language and cultural groups,” the agency said.

The MDDA officially opened the 2023/24 call for grant funding applications for six weeks commencing from 05 June 2023 to17 July 2023.

 Due to the minimal budget for community print, the call to community projects will take a targeted approach and invite applications from four provinces. The call is targeting organisations owned or focusing on youth, women and persons with disabilities related content.”

This year’s call is not accepting digital media applications under the print portfolio as it will be targeting communities which rely on hardcopy publications and publish in indigenous languages to assist further the mandate of media development and diversity in rural communities.

Community broadcast applications will still target all nine provinces. Applications will only be accepted via emails or physically delivered to the MDDA offices in Auckland Park (Gate 13, 26 Canary Road, Auckland Park, SABC GSM Building).

“Grant Funding remains one of the core functions of the MDDA and is also one of the central factors towards ensuring successful empowerment, sustainability, and transformation of the community media sector.”

Funding community media

In the 2022/23 financial year, the MDDA funded community broadcast and community newspapers to the tune of R45 million.

During the 2010/11 financial year, Bushbuckridge News received a grant funding from the MDDA, which was used to cover costs for printing, rent, stipends, newsroom equipment, and telecommunications.

The weekly community newspaper is distributed across the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality and includes areas such as Hazyview, Nelspruit and some parts of Thaba Chweu Municipality. It is also available online.

It covers general news, current affairs, community news, and general interest news. The newspaper has a print run of between 5 000 to 10 000 copies per week and is published in English, Sepulana, and Xitsonga.

The Publisher of the newspaper, Nelisiwe Ndlovu established Bushbuckridge News with her sister in 2009.

“We needed to tell our own stories in our own languages while addressing key issues such as poverty, HIV and Aids, unemployment, crime and their effect on our society,” she explained.

So far, the publication has permanently employed three people, one intern and five freelancers. Ndlovu added that the newspaper would not have been sustainable if it was not for the support it received from the MDDA. - SAnews.gov.za

For more information about the MDDA visit www.mdda.org.za

To read stories published by Bushbuckridge News visit www.bushbuckridgenews.co.za.

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