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SAMIP participants get to grips with Coronavirus reporting

As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak tightens its grip on the world, the media industry has stepped up to provide up-to-the minute reporting on the spread of the virus and its impact on people’s lives. Media are also finding novel ways to cover how the disease is changing how we interact with each other and our communities.

Participants in our South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP), an initiative that seeks to accelerate digital innovation among independent media outlets in South Africa that try to deploy new solutions and reach new audiences, are rolling out innovative ways to tell stories and educate people about the virus.

Media Hack Collective’s data dashboard

Data journalism startup Media Hack Collective (MHC), in collaboration with Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, has developed a dashboard to keep track of confirmed Coronavirus infections in South Africa.

MHC co-founder Alastair Otter says that they made the dashboard publicly available on Monday. By that evening there were 100 people viewing the dashboard at any one time.

“Tuesday morning peaked at 200 concurrent users. Now, on Thursday morning, we have just passed 30,000 views of the dashboard, in just under three days.”

The dashboard displays measurements that include daily infections, a breakdown of age groups of those infected and where the virus has spread in the country among other indicators.

For updates on their dashboard and projects sign up for their weekly newsletter.

Notable highlights

Digital publisher Daily Maverick launched a pop-up newsletter on the impact the Coronavirus is having on SA and the government’s response. The newsletter comes out once a day and is a special edition of their Maverick Insider newsletter that goes out to members of their membership plan.

isiZulu news publisher Igunundu Press has been providing coverage of the viral outbreak in isiZulu, publishing several features on Covid-19 in the latest edition of their flagship publication Bayede News and discussing it on their podcast Ikundla Yabantu Radio.

Youth news site The Daily Vox continues to report on the tertiary education sector and in recent days they have begun covering how Covid-19 has impacted higher education as some universities close their doors for early breaks due to the virus.

Podcast network Volume continued fighting WhatsApp misinformation, zooming in on false claims related to the virus, in addition to starting a new podcast #MediaDiaries where they explore what it’s like to work in journalism in the time of COVID-19.

And if you are looking for information on how best to look after yourself during this period, Health-e News released a video on do’s and don’ts when trying to prevent yourself from contracting Coronavirus.

As the weeks go by we will continue to highlight the stellar work being done by our participants and partners as they deal with the Coronavirus.

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