Create, don’t react

The Journalist, a multi-media website, was the official media partner of the Abantu Book Festival 2018 in Soweto. It was set up in August 2014 to record the stories that define us as South Africans and Africans. The founders were a group of committed journalists and students deeply concerned that official texts at Universities largely excluded indigenous journalists, publishers, story-tellers and proprietors of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

This online site for journalists, journalism students,communicators and academics alike, offers a unique insight into the pioneers of African journalism. The platform’s content focuses on matters that affect South Africa, the African continent, and the Diaspora. Institutional memory in newsroom spaces has rapidly eroded. The Journalist and soon The African Journalist (to be launched in 2020) will function as a knowledge bank to compensate for this deficit.

The Journalist encourages its writers to find their own voices and tell their stories authentically grounded in their personal reality. They are not expected to mimic British or American journalists.

It further aims to build a community of journalism students at institutions across the country, the continent, and the diaspora and link them with working and retired journalists to facilitate and promote the great storytelling tradition of the African continent. The project is headquartered at the University of the Free State.

The Journalist has to date published over 100 editions largely through the volunteer work of a dedicated team and contributors.

The success of this venture will mean that we have a platform that is created by ourselves and for ourselves without undue commercial or foreign interference.

This however depends on the donations in cash, kind and energy of everyone committed to making this a success.

If you wish to be part of creating something which is our own institution, crafted as we would like it, do donate on the site or write to us with your offer of practical help.

The time is now to CREATE AND NOT REACT to senseless arguments that take our energy and leave us with nothing.

Sign up and become a member and

ACTIVATE! Change Drivers and The Journalist will continue to keep you posted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you were not able to join the festival this year, there is always next year. In the meantime, stay updated by following us on social media.  All images courtesy of Mmuso Mafisa and Abantu Book Festival.

More stories in Issue 106

One for the books: Abantu’s bookstore and publishing house

In 2015 at the Franschhoek Literary Festival, acclaimed novelist Thando Mgqolozana stood up and opted out, he brandished the festival a space that excludes black writers. “I’m quitting what I call the white literary system in South Africa,” he said at the time while the predominantly white audience members shuffled awkwardly in their seats. “You […]

The law and dispossession from a black perspective

Land is a hot topic at the moment, especially on the fortnight of the upcoming national election. The Land Is Ours is a must read for anyone interested in how historical injustices and land dispossession affects the land question today. It tells the story of South Africa’s first black lawyers, who operated in the late nineteenth and […]

Meet 2018 Brittle Paper Awards Winners at Abantu Book Festival

Chigumadzi and Mohulatsi are at the event to discuss their new books. Chigumadzi’s These Bones Will Rise Again (The Indigo Press, June) combines reportage, memoir and critical analysis to “reflect on the November 2017 ousting of Robert Mugabe, radically reframing the history of Zimbabwe to include the perspectives of workers, women and urban movements.” Mohulatsi’s […]


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