Graca Machel. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The Conversation Africa is among five South African non-governmental organisations to receive grants from financial news service Bloomberg and the Ford Foundation.

The other recipients are Wits Radio Academy, Radio KC, the Graça Machel Trust’s Women in Media Network, and Sonke Gender Justice.

"The funds, awarded over two years, aim to elevate voices from local communities and further the development of citizen journalism and community reporting on financial and economic issues," Bloomberg said in a media release on Thursday.

"This initiative by the Community Media Fund will enable the roll out of a capacity-building programme combined with content-production and broadcasting for community radio stations in five provinces of SA," Wits Radio Academy executive producer Lerato Makate said. "This will go a long way in responding to challenges in the community radio sector, which has grown phenomenally in the last few years but is still plagued by skills shortages and a lack of sustainable funding, among other issues."

Sonke Gender Justice uses community radio stations to raise public awareness about social and gender justice issues, particularly women’s rights and access to justice, the media release said.

The Graça Machel Trust’s Women in Media Network will use their grant to source and distribute content related to business and economics and its impact on women and children. Radio KC will use its grant to "provide dynamic radio programmes focusing on basic financial literacy".

The Conversation Africa, which syndicates articles written by academics to BusinessLIVE, among others, will use its grant to "generate financial, economic and business related content, identify and established new relationships with communities, and introduce new forms of digital media".

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