In an attempt to further conscientise the youth about the value of news, story telling and information gathering, the Trust for Community Outreach (TCOE) held a two-day workshop at the Alternative Information and Development Centre, Cape Town.

29 youth from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo came together and discussed matters affecting young people across the rural and urban divide, and were given some training on news collection and how to form study groups, and to develop a culture of reading

The 29 youth were from Khanyisa, Progressive Youth Movement, Inyanda and Calusa, RPM, Ilizwi Lamafama, Rural Peoples Movement, Ilizwilamafama, Mawubuye and Africa Unite which all engage citizens in rural and peri-urban areas on the issues of land.

“The workshop is designed to make sure that we have a team of news collectors in different provinces so that we can have an effective news platform, especially for our publication Inyanda Community News,” said Khunji Mayekiso from the TCOE.

Inyanda Community Newspaper is a community newspaper produced by TCOE every second quarter, it looks at news mostly related to land struggles, farm work and victories. It is written in five languages: Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Tswana and Tshivenda. The news articles are translated and incorporated in the community newspaper which is about 12 pages long. It is delivered by TCOE to the relevant stakeholders.

“One of the reasons we have this workshop is to have new news collectors for this publication,” said Mnqobi Ngubane, who is the Editor of the Newspaper, and PhD student at UWC.

“We want stories written by young activists that will not only highlight the struggles of the rural land communities but victories as well,” he continued.

The workshop which took place from the 20th – 21st June also saw three representatives of the #FeesMustFall movement engaging the participants about the importance of linking youth movements across the rural – urban divide.

“We see a number of discrepancies in the education system which include the exclusion of those who cannot afford educational fees being marginalised and kept in poverty,” said  Thozama Nozuko, a Fees Must Fall activist.

“The system has also indoctrinated us to think that the black child is apathetic to the political struggle of the nation yet the movement has also proven otherwise,” she continued.

The #FeesMustFall discussion was linked to many challenges the youth face and these include, school drop outs, language barriers and new graduate debts. A notable issue was that of creating more awareness of black consciousness and return of economic power to the black masses.

The second day of the workshop saw the participants receiving training on how to collect and gather news by activist journalists. This process was supported by political education around differentiating between mainstream, and alternative media houses, and why there are such differences in our societies, and what can be done by alternative media houses.

It was made clear that Inyanda Community News is an alternative media communication platform for the youth, and adults in rural communities to publish stories that are deliberately omitted by mainstream media as a communication tool across marginalised communities.