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Hurry up, journalism programme for aspiring writers still open

Aspiring community storytellers from Free State, KZN and W Cape are still welcome to apply

Qhayiya Mhlahlo (14) is the first of 50 citizen journalists approved for Food For Mzansi's Sinelizwi project in partnership with the Google News Initiative: Photo: Food For Mzansi

Do you live in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal or the Western Cape? Then there might still be a spot for you to join an exclusive citizen journalism training programme that will see you mentored by Food For Mzansi’s journalists.

Applications for Food For Mzansi’s Sinelizwi citizen journalism project are pouring in fast, and the available places for six of the nine provinces have already filled up. Already a crowd of inexperienced and unpublished writers, ready to flex their storytelling muscles, have heeded the call to sign up.

Sinelizwi (named for an isiXhosa word that can be loosely translated to “we have the word”) is a rare opportunity for learners in grades 8 to 11, unemployed youth, agricultural workers and community members to gain basic journalism skills and get their work published.

Besides getting training, participants will also be financially rewarded for their stories that put their communities on the map.

The writing and learning fun kicks off in September, when 50 aspiring writers of all ages and from all corners of the country will be mentored remotely for six months via WhatsApp on how to write articles and record mobile video journalism. They will also discover other basic principles of news writing and tools to help them document the untold stories of their communities.

Participation in the Sinelizwi citizen journalism project can give those with ambitions of spending their life in journalism a competitive edge. Also, participants get to add a cool skill to their CV.

In a country with millions of unemployed citizens and where youth unemployment is rife, the programme, presented in partnership with the Google News Initiative is a unique opportunity for unemployed youth to get a leg up.

How to become a Sinelizwi citizen journalist:

  • Step 1: Click here to access the simple application form. It’s easy to complete, but take a few minutes to carefully think about your answers. Remember that you will be competing with potential citizen journalists from across Mzansi. Think about what makes you different. Why should we simply choose you as one of our 50 Sinelizwi citizen journalists? Don’t be intimidated by questions about your highest qualification. We will pick the best candidates, even if they have not completed matric.
  • Step 2: Be sure to complete and submit the application form by Saturday, 8 August 2020 at 12:00. No late applications will be accepted.
  • Step 3: Check in daily to Food For Mzansi’s website for the announcement of the 50 citizen journalists who made the cut. Also make sure that you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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