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:
Our experience over the last 21 years has led us to believe that if we:
If this happens:
This will ultimately lead to citizens, media and the powerful respecting a culture of human rights and thereby encouraging a just and fair society.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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