The Journalist opens its 2016 chapter

Welcome to The Journalist for 2016.

This year we move from a weekly to a monthly edition, with a smaller mid-month edition added. We will continue bringing you the important debates and stories that would otherwise go untold.

I am honoured to start 2016 as the new editor of The Journalist and wish to express the gratitude of the collective for the solid foundation provided by my predecessor, the amazing Sylvia Vollenhoven.

This week we provide an introduction to the year ahead which officially opens next week, 27 January.

To kick off we glance back to 2015 and recall some of our most popular stories, including the #FeesMustFall student protests that made history; the ongoing struggle that seeks to put an end to outsourcing, and a focus on South African heroes of the past like AWG Champion who stood up for the rights of the country’s most vulnerable.

Then we look ahead, towards the continuation of student protests that will see the so-called ‘born free’ generation regain momentum and take to the streets once again. And it is in this moment that the saying, history repeats itself, becomes so bitterly accurate.

In the year of the student, we commemorate 40 years since the June 16, 1976 Soweto uprisings which saw black students mobilize to fight against the Bantu Education Act of 1953, a protest which changed the socio-political landscape of South Africa.

We also celebrate 60 years since 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in one of the most significant displays of defiance and power against the apartheid system.

This year we also pause to remember 100 years since Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa was published, which continues to shed light on the struggle for the liberation of African people. Plaatje, the activist and journalist continues to remind us that although we have come a long way, there is still much to do.

We pay particular attention this year to giving the youth a voice by partnering with a number of grassroots student journalists and writers. As they grapple with the various issues and multifaceted questions and concerns that face our country and their future, The Journalist will provide space for the youth to not only question and grapple with the socio-political struggle of their generation but also allow them to actively re-define the industry of media and journalism.

This is what you can expect from The Journalist for the year ahead: our Spotlight section brings you regional issues that spark national debates and interest. Kau Kaura can be roughly translated from the /Xam language of the Bushman people of the Northern Cape to mean ‘making a noise with voices’, and that’s exactly what we offer, our own stories in our own voices. Pioneers recalls the great intellectuals and heroes of the past. The Craft works to ensure that the next generation of media men and women do the South African story justice. The Arts has linked up with Ja. Magazine, to collect, curate and celebrate the work of local creatives. This year we’re also introducing a books section, which will bring you in-depth reviews and author interviews.

So sign up for our newsletter and with every monthly edition we’ll bring you the context and history that allows us to understand our present in relation to our past.

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