The power of Citizen Journalism to disrupt media apathy in South Africa using digital technology

Author: JT Comms
Date: 9 Mar 2015

Inspired by Wouter Kellerman and Ricky Kej winning the 57th Grammy for Best New Age Album

 A few thoughts on how we can influence the profiling of positive stories in the media, especially game-changing narratives that need to be heard, in a country where African stories play second fiddle to Western/ European news.

Following concern about the media apathy in covering South Africa’ first ever No. 1 Billboard New Age Chart topper Wouter Kellerman’s recent Grammy Award win for his collaborative album Winds of Samsara  with India’s Riki Kej, it became evident the through digital technology, citizen activism can influence African Narratives.


Long after the win, South Africa’s public broadcaster showed visuals of the 57th Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony and led the story by highlighting international winners without any recognition to Wouter Kellerman.

The morning tabloids covered the Grammys with visuals and narratives of everyone else, except Wouter  Kellerman, who is proudly South African. You would think being South African and winning this prestigious award would make local news. Sadly the opportunity to hear the story in real time was lost and is over.

  1. It’s clear that the SA music industry is in trouble. When you wake up and hear the news that the ONLY South African to hit Number One on the Billboard New Age Chart walks off with a 2015 Grammy, but still can't get the media to take an interest
  2. By using digital to tell your story, you create a network of people who can accelerate and rally support for your product/brand.
  3. Creating your own narratives is the way to move the engine forward. The game-change is to align your brand with a base of supporters.
  4. In a country where media are self-profilers and haters of anything that can't build their careers or advance their work, we need to start hunting in packs.
  5. It is time for stakeholders in the South African music industry to unite to share positive narratives by using digital platforms to chronicle your brand, migrate your offering, create traction, drive sales and increase the bottom line.
  6. Building an ecosystem in a collective is possible and much easier how we influence narratives by using digital technology is key
  • The creative industries have an opportunity to present content and share stories using new powerful digital platforms as a tool to create brand awareness, engage with their fans, build new audience support
  • Build intelligence sharing in your brand collateral to help educate and chare information to media platforms in a way that will grab their interest and attention
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