South Sudan is a resource rich country with sixteen estimated mineral deposits of gold, copper, diamond, bauxite, cement and iron ore. The country’s mineral wealth is yet to be formally regulated to benefit the wider economy or South Sudanese citizen, allowing for a thriving illicit trade across South Sudanese borders with neighboring countries.
Internews core partner, Eye Media won a 7,000 Euro (approx. $7,700 USD) investigative multi-media grant from Money Trail to cover the illicit gold trade. Money Trail is a collaborative project between highly regarded journalism and training organizations such as Finance Uncovered, Free Press Unlimited, Oxfam Novib and Journalismfund.eu. Money Trail is supported by the Dutch Nationale Postcode Loterij. The grant will enable Eye Media to produce multimedia content, spanning radio and digital, tracking illicit gold trade between South Sudan and neighboring countries.
The grant proposal development was part of six half-day workshops with Internews’ Senior Sustainability Advisor, held in November and December 2019. The business development workshops centered around engaging the radio programming team and business development team to co-create proposal ideas with well researched, relevant journalistic projects along well-planned contextual frameworks, timeframes and budgets.
The sustainability exercise is part of a wider effort to make Internews’ partners more resilient regarding funding challenges facing media houses globally. By combining the experience and creativity of the technical business development team and the knowledge and insights of the programming team, proposals are built by combining journalistic relevance and the required business components of proposals. The team engaged in this project was composed of three journalists and two business development Eye Media team members.
Eye Media and the Senior Sustainability Advisor continue to envision diverse proposal ideas in the areas of women empowerment, environmental sustainability, social norms and culture. Eye Media intends to continue applying for grants, both inside and outside of South Sudan, to bolster their ability to engage with journalism entrepreneurship in a globally shifting media landscape.
Eye Media is a 100% South Sudanese media development organization, which runs Eye Radio 98.6 FM, the most popular radio station in Juba. Since 2013, Eye Media has had support from the USAID-funded i-STREAM project, implemented by Internews. This support has included preparation for Eye Media to receive direct donor funding.
(Photo banner: A man looks for signs of gold using an electronic device. Credit: Radio Dabanga)