Joining the Forum of Activist Journalists in the time of COVID-19
Karibu! is looking for young journalists from the working class who are courageous and committed to defending and advancing working class interests. Alternative journalism is different to mainstream journalism in that it is not controlled by or affiliated to a conglomerate or political party; and in addition, it does not shy away from taking sides or disseminating opinion. It also provides a space for critical debate and engagement on today’s politics, and a voice for the poor and marginalised.
The Forum for Activist Journalists was established to bring together media activists from various organisations and movements to develop and nurture a generation of emerging activists and writers to build a movement of alternative journalism.
The Karibu! & FAJ project of Khanya therefore aims to also build media houses and platforms for many social movements and working class organisations.
Both Karibu! and FAJ seek to contribute to building a broader civil society media movement – operating on various platforms – through cooperating with a range of organisations. In this vein, Karibu! will build networks and exchange relationship in order to draw strength from a broader media movement, as well as contribute to this movement.
An equally important aim of Karibu! and FAJ is to explore alternative ownership models in media. It is the express aim of Karibu to ensure that activist journalist begin to earn some income from their writing activities. In the long-term, Karibu! and FAJ seeks to explore and develop a model that combines activism, political commitment to the social justice movement, and common ownership of the means of disseminating information.
Working class journalism has become even more important in the time of COVID-19. In this time working class journalists and activists need to generate news that are true and the help the working class combat COVID-19. Khanya College has a special programme, the Khanya FAJ Network, that aims to generate news from working class communities, and to support working class journalists with income. Activist who join the FAJ and produce news for Karibu! and other working class newspapers will receive payment to help them survive. This programme will continue beyond COVID-19, but during this time Khanya will pay more to support activists with income.
The Karibu! newspaper was launched in 2005 by Khanya College as a quarterly newspaper for social movements. The primary news generation strategy of Karibu! consists in building a network of community journalists (FAJ) who contribute news to the newspaper. Both Karibu! and FAJ seek to contribute to building a broader working class media movement – operating on various platforms and through cooperating with a range of organisations.
The process of setting up the Forum for Activist Journalists Network began towards the end of 2010 with a workshop held at the House of Movements (where Khanya College is based). The workshop was attended by social movement activists active in various media committees in the movements. The idea of the forum was discussed in this workshop, and this was followed by a seminar addressed by a visiting Finish journalist, Teppo Eskelinen on the state of journalism in Finland.
The FAJ Network seeks to achieve its aims of building a movement of alternative journalism through a number of interventions. These include a series of training workshops based on political analysis and feature writing on socio-political issues; seminars and discussion platforms; and publishing platforms for young activist journalists from various civil society organisations including progressive NGOs, social movements, trade unions and other forms of community based organisations.
FAJ Network Contact Details
House of Movements
123 Pritchard Street
Phone: 011 336 9190