“Organisations like MMA can help hold a mirror up to the face of journalism in South Africa and allow us to self-examine. MMA also adds a critical voice to the media landscape in terms of questioning the status quo and interrogating issues of human rights and democracy.” Katy Katapodis, Editor in Chief, Eyewitness News.
"MMA is very useful to us for the following reasons: 1.It keeps us on our toes with regard to compliance with applicable media laws and regulations. 2. It complements the work of the Press Council of S.A. 3. The training of journalists especially on reporting on children has proven to be vital for our profession. 4. The media tours which includes school children have exposed our journalists to the needs of children. 5. The innovation on the ranking of stories with regard to their compliance with child protection laws is taken seriously in our news room." Mpumelelo Mkhabela, Editor, Sowetan and Chair South African National Editors Forum
"PDMSA, the industry association for the print media industry in South Africa is happy to be associated with the MMA and supports its transformational approach to ensuring that we have a credible and quality media in our country. Its monitoring and evaluation role underpinned by a values-based approach not only aligns its values with the complexities of a fairly new democracy but also works alongside the local print media environment as a strategic partner. Through its network of communications the organisation has, over the past few years, been able to make significant contributions towards a print media, in particular, that constantly strives to remain congruent with the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution." Ingrid Louw, Director, Print & Digital Media South Africa
"MMA is an important player in the media space. Systematically monitoring and reporting on media coverage provides a unique lens to news organisations. Through this process, newsrooms are able to benchmark their reporting against others as well as their own standards across a number of indicators. A strong media sector keeps government in check. MMA keeps the media in check. Through their work, they temper biased coverage of current affairs and amplify the voices of marginalised communities. Media is an essential component of a strong democracy and MMA's work helps the ensures a fair and unbiased media." Adi Ayal, Director Code for South Africa and Open Data Advocate
"MMA plays a pivotal role in the South African media sector. MMA is one of the few civil society bodies that has consistently put forward a principled and coherent position on media policy matters. As such, I believe they are an essential element of the South African media policy environment and their work makes our democracy richer." Lara Kantor, Group Executive Regulatory Strategy, Etv
"MMA is an unique institution because it makes an unbiased critical study of the media, its conduct and that of its journalists and how it reports news and information. There is no other organisation that assesses the media from this objective standpoint. It also focuses on the effects of the media's activities on the public at large. The media attracts its critics and its praise-singers but they all engage on a personal or corporate basis with their own interests paramount. MMA strives - and largely achieves - being an independent, dispassionate and objective observer which criticises or lauds media conduct in relation to its conformity with professional and ethical standards. Critics constantly call for a watchdog of the watchdog media and MMA provides that service from that important objective viewpoint, and points out, publicly when appropriate, when standards have slipped or when they have been maintained or improved upon. MMA goes further and participates in media discussions and reflections on standards and ethics of conduct and publication and makes a contribution which is accepted by the media as being the views of a dispassionate observer uninfluenced by special interest. It is also called upon by the media to express its views publicly on media conduct and the issues that arise from conduct as an independent observer. Perhaps the one factor in its make-up which does influence its views is its staunch support for freedom of expression and freedom of the media but that is a core element in a democracy and it is only in a democracy that such an institution can exist." Raymond Louw, Former Editor of the Rand Daily Mail (1966-77) Fellow and former Executive Board member of the International Press Institute
Broadly, our partners are the media industry, oversight structures civil society and citizens. These can be stratified as follows:
Our impact cannot only be measured by what our partners say about us, but also by the usefulness of our work and how people engage with our work. The President and the vice President of the Republic of South Africa have quoted our work on media related issues. Not only government see the value of our work. Media from the public broadcaster, SABC, to other independent broadcasters, print and online newspapers and community radio regularly invite us to comment on critical media issues.
Our competitive advantage is anchored on the following four values:
As one of the winners of the inaugural African News Innovation Challenge, we have been increasing the use of technology, as well as core elements of data mining and data journalism principles into our work. Through the following data tools (and additional ones currently under development, including the News Agenda on Twitter, Children and Media and Social Media Game), we aim to help improve media coverage and hold the powerful accountable.
Dexter is our in-house tool that allows us to monitor media content and produce results in real-time. It builds on our 21 years of media monitoring experience. The output of the tool can be seen in our presentation of the media coverage of South Africa’s 2014 general elections: elections2014.mediamonitoringafrica.org. We encourage you to interact with the results and also share your views on the media coverage of these elections.
Wazimap is an interactive online information hub which provides easy access to information about elections and service delivery in South Africa. You can use Wazimap to enhance your stories with credible statistics about issues affecting the country. We developed Wazimap specifically to ‘disrupt” the way media historically covered elections and also with the idea of having it as a tool which users would go to beyond the elections period. What makes Wazimap special is that it acts as a starting point for anyone looking to write a story on key issues affecting South Africa. You can access Wazimap here: wazimap.co.za. Wazimap has been so successful to the extent that the African Media Initiative (AMI) is developing an equivalent for Kenya and Nigeria.
NewsTools (Churnalism and NewsDiffs) are a suite of tools allowing media organisations to be better equipped to provide quality original news. Churnalism helps identify instances where media copy public relations content and present it as their own original content. It also identifies instances where media copy from each other. NewsDiffs tracks changes to online media stories. You can have a look at our NewsTools here: www.newstools.co.za. If you are interested in the tools, you can sign up to use our authentic news badge system.