On 6 December 2012, the Media Development & Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the Market Photo Workshop (MPW) co-hosted a panel discussion themed "Photography as a Media Format" at the 3rd Floor Gallery at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg, as part of celebrating the graduates of the 2012 MPW Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (PDP) program. The aim of the panel discussion was to create a platform to share ideas and experiences of how photography as a media format contributes to telling stories by use of the visual medium like pictures.
The discussion was moderated by MDDA Board Member, Ms. Nadia Bulbulia and the panellists included Head of Media24 Journalism Academy - Mr. Mathata Tsedu, Freelance Photographer - Ms. Zanele Moholi and City Press Photographer - Mr. Muntu Vilakazi. The discussions also shared how photography can be used to encourage freedom of expression and creative use of various visual arts to complement and enhance quality content in community and small commercial media in South Africa.
The Agency, mandated by the MDDA Act is required to "to develop human resources, train and build capacity of projects in the media sector; and emphasises the importance of channelling resources for media projects. In order for community media to have a competitive edge to manage sustainable and viable media projects, they need to have skills and expertise to enable them to deliver professional community media services. Photography plays an important role in producing a viable print product like a newspaper, magazine and now online media. Training and capacity building is a key component in running a professional media house. Media is a dynamic and fast growing industry and all media players need to invest in the up-skilling and upgrading of their systems in order to operate viably in the sector. Accordingly, in October 2011, the MDDA Board approved provision of four (4) bursaries for community and small commercial media to undergo a year-long PDP training programme. The MDDA bursary recipients are as follows: (community media and small commercial media projects)
|Limpopo||Sebatakgomo News||Mr. Mamagase Khomotjo Nchabeleng|
|KwaZulu-Natal||EzaKwaZulu News||Ms. Barbara Ntomb'Mungi Mdunge|
|North West ||Agenda Media House||Mr. Mogorosi Gift Moremedi|
|Eastern Cape||iDikelethu News||Mr. Mthuthuzeli Wellington Thomas|
The panel discussion on "Photography as a Media Format"
was part of celebrating the success of the MDDA and MPW partnership. The MDDA continues to be a key role player in the media development, diversity and transformation space. Photography is a form of storytelling through pictures and plays an important role as a media format. To ensure that the skills learnt are used to develop the sector, the bursary recipients are required to spend 2013 working at the publication they were nominated by for this bursary. The year will be treated like an internship used to strengthen the skills learnt through practice and begin to transfer them in the community.
Ms Nadia Bulbulia congratulated the graduates of the 2012 Market Photo Workshop PDP program and thanked them for their passion and dedication to their work over the duration of the course, as demonstrated in the exhibition of their work. She commended them for taking Photojournalism and Documentary Photography to new heights! - She also extended her gratitude to Zanele Moholi and Muntu Vilakazi for inspiring the students and for being an inspiration to many.