The Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) is representing the aspirations of South Africa’s impartial print media sector. They have numerous small local media organizations across the country, including newspapers, magazines, newsletters and online publications.
Through networking, education, and grassroots media support, AIP is committed to the pursuit of media diversity and pluralism, inclusiveness, accuracy and honesty. The AIP also aims to strengthen the voice of independent media in this country. The organization works closely with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) to deal with publishers’ sustainability challenges. and MDDA.
On the 10th of August 2023, Ms. Mbali Dhlomo was invited to join our workshop which took place at Pretoria. Ms. Dhlomo is a member of the AIP and entered the independent community media space in 1999. Prior to that, in the early 1990s, she worked as a Promotions Assistant for Thandi Magazine and as a Technical Analyst at Ithala Bank in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ms. Dhlomo is the editor and publisher of Intuthuko Newspapers, a group of three monthly Isizulu community newspapers that circulate in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. She started Intuthuko Umbumbulu in 2007 which is distributed in rural areas around Durban. In 2017, she set up Intuthuko Newcastle and this newspaper circulates in Newcastle, Dannhauser and Emadlangeni. In 2019, she set up Intuthuko Dundee which circulates Dundee, Glencoe Vryheid and Nquthu.
She is a founding member of the KwaZulu-Natal Community Publishers Co-operative (KZNCPC). During the workshop she said that “there is sustainability in the online environment because…….”
One of the interns Christopher Buda said, “I have learned a lot of things about the AIP and how independent publications generate revenue, which was mentioned or presented by Mbali Dhlomo.”
Lastly, I was inspired by Shirley Govender when she took us through her journey about community journalism. She automatically made me to be more interested in community journalism because it’s all about helping and being the voice of the community.”
Hlakaniphile Vilakazi an intern at Student Living said, “AIP is a good start to publishers who want to grow. It also gives people a chance to showcase themselves and their publications. I am inspired by Mbali Dhlomo.”
The workshop was fruitful for journalism interns as they got to understand more about the role of the AIP in the journalism space.