Our Values

About MMA

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) was established in 1993 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Since then, MMA has developed from a pure monitoring based project to an organisation that implements successful media strategies for change, using technology, social media and data tools to make our work more efficient and effective.

MMA acts in a watchdog role to promote ethical and fair journalism that supports human rights. The organisation promotes democracy and a culture where media and the powerful respect human rights and encourage a just and fair society.

MMA's vision is a responsible, quality media that enables an engaged and informed citizenry in Africa and across the world. MMA aims to promote the development of a free, fair, ethical and critical media culture in South Africa and the rest of the continent. To achieve MMA’s vision, the three key areas that MMA seeks to address through a human rights-based approach are:

  • Media ethics
  • Media quality
  • Media freedom

Our theory of change

Our experience over the last 21 years has led us to believe that if we:

  • Analyse existing media content and disseminate findings
  • Undertake media related research and disseminate findings
  • Generate and place original rights-based content in mainstream media
  • Train journalists, audiences and the powerful on rights-based reporting and media literacy
  • Undertake lobbying and advocacy with media and the powerful

Then:

  • Media will be more diverse, ethical and accountable to their audiences
  • Audiences will engage more critically and constructively with media
  • The powerful will engage critically and constructively with media and audiences

If this happens:

  • A responsible, quality and free media that holds the powerful to account will be encouraged
  • Audiences will be able to hold media and the powerful to account
  • The powerful will communicate openly, transparently and effectively

This will ultimately lead to citizens, media and the powerful respecting a culture of human rights and thereby encouraging a just and fair society.

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The problems we seek to address

We seek to address complex problems broadly in the media sector which require nuanced and strategic approaches to addressing them. The four problems we seek to address are:

  • Lack of accountability of media outlets to their audiences
  • Insufficient media quality and diversity
  • Threats to media freedom
  • Lack of effective audience engagement processes

The solutions we offer

Our approach is to build on what works and find pragmatic solutions for what doesn’t. As such we offer the following tailored services to our partners.

  • Online tools for journalists and editors to do their work better
  • Research that helps media measure performance and also understand their audiences
  • Training and expert views to meet skills gaps and ethical practices in media
  • Policy submissions that help policy makers formulate policies that promote media freedom
  • Digital literacy as well as platforms for informed citizens engagement with media and the powerful

The Success We Seek To Achieve

  • 50% increase in the use of our tools by journalists and audiences
  • 50% increase in media mentions
  • 30% increase in social media engagement with MMA materials
  • Continued qualitative credibility of our work based on feedback with key stakeholders

Each of these indicators can be measured using a data drawn from the use of our tools, well as what hour partners say about us.

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“Organisations like MMA can help hold a mirror up to the face of journalism in South Africa and allow us to self-examine” - Katy Katapodis, Editor in Chief, Eyewitness News.

“MMA keeps us on our toes with regard to compliance with applicable media laws and regulations” - Mpumelelo Mkhabela, Editor, Sowetan and Chair South African National Editors Forum.

“MMA keeps the media in check. Through their work, they temper biased coverage of current affairs and amplify the voices of marginalised communities” - Adi Ayal, Director Code for South Africa and Open Data Advocate.

“MMA is one of the few civil society bodies that has consistently put forward a principled and coherent position on media policy matters” - Lara Kantor, Group Executive Regulatory Strategy, Etv

“MMA is one of the few civil society bodies that has consistently put forward a principled and coherent position on media policy matters” - Lara Kantor, Group Executive Regulatory Strategy, Etv