What is the Media Hack Collective?

We’re a group of independent journalists who just love a good story. We’re dedicated to quality journalism and the craft of digital storytelling. While we specialise in data-driven and narrative journalism, we’re a multi-talented bunch able to harness decades of journalism skills, combining them with state-of-the-art programming and presentation to create stories for all sorts of screens. We initiate our own media projects, but we also offer our services to civil society organisations and corporate social responsibility projects with a story to tell.

 

Media Hack Initiatives

Data-driven journalism

Media Hack loves turning dry data sets into compelling stories with interactive maps and well-designed infographics. We have the skills to clean up untidy data sets, and merge and analyse them to find the patterns and stories that lie hidden in the numbers. We use a variety of different tools to create infographics and maps, from off-the-shelf visualisation applications to custom programming with modern web standards such as D3.js, Angular, React and Leaflet.

Visualisations can be standalone and the entire focus of a project or they can be just one element in a longer narrative that would include text, images, audio or video.

Passmark

Media Hack has received a Taco Kuiper Grant for a project that will collect and collate all publicly available data about South Africa’s schools and the state of their infrastructure. Maps, infographics and stories about the state of school infrastructure and other education-related topics will be published on Passmark.

Datablog

This is where we publish data stories and visualisations done by Media Hack team members. Some were commissioned and published by other media companies, some we did just for fun. From time to time, we also write about interesting new tools we’ve come across.

Future of journalism

If you want to stay relevant in the rapidly changing journalism world, you have to keep a close eye on what’s happening in the industry. Media Picks is our weekly newsletter that contains links to stories about media and tech we think are worth sharing. Tracking Journalist Retrenchments is a project we started to build a database of South African journalists who have been retrenched in the past five years. We made some charts so you can see the data we have so far.

Narrative journalism

In association with the African Centre for Migration and Society at Wits University, Media Hack is creating a digital narrative project currently focusing on issues of migrancy through the oral histories of South Africans and foreigners living in South Africa.

Media Hack for NGOs

We like telling stories for social justice – exactly the sort that come out of civil society organisations. Our aim? To help organisations present their stories in compelling ways on the right platforms, so they reach the audiences they’re supposed to.

Media Hack offers a fresh approach to storytelling for non-profit organisations. Digital media has put the power to communicate with your audience firmly in your own hands – and we want to show you how to harness that power. We want to assist you in telling stories that are accessible, relevant and compelling to support the change you’re aiming for.

With our collective experience in journalism – including reporting, editing and writing as well as print and digital design, platform delivery, audience development and the media technology to support it all – we have the background and the networks to plan, create, and manage direct-to-audience digital stories as well as facilitate media partnerships and interventions that will optimise your investment in storytelling.

How do we find these stories? We pry them out of numbers, coax them out of people, craft them out of places and pluck them out of dry reports.

How do we tell them? Media Hack loves turning dry data sets into compelling stories with interactive maps and well-designed infographics. We have the skills to clean up messy data sets, and merge and analyse them to find the patterns and stories that lie hidden in the numbers. These visualisations can be the entire focus of a project or they can be just one element in a longer narrative that would include text, images, audio or video. We also love narrative and support all of our work through clear, succinct and engaging use of text and images.

 

Our range of services include

  • Data-driven stories
  • Data visualisation
  • Storytelling planning and strategy
  • Editing
  • Audience monitoring and evaluation
  • Captioned videos
  • Podcasts
  • Apps