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Volunteer Overseas

Journalism Volunteer Projects in South Africa

  • Placement location: Cape Town
  • Placement Types: Online publication
  • Role: To gain experience in digital journalism by producing stories and content about local communities for the Cape Chameleon online magazine.
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Price: From Loading...
  • What's included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
  • What's not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
  • Length of placement: From 2 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

The editor of Cape Chameleon explains her notes to a journalism volunteer

As a volunteer on a Journalism placement in South Africa you will be working for Projects Abroad’s very own magazine, the Cape Chameleon. Based in a suburb of Cape Town, our Journalism project is perfect for anyone wanting some extra experience to get their journalism career off the ground.

The Journalism placements are available for volunteers who are on a gap-year looking to get onto a related university course, or those looking for experience following graduation, or more qualified journalists looking for international experience or a unique career-break.

A Projects Abroad Journalism placement will make sure that your CV sets you out from the crowd. As a Journalism volunteer you’ll have the opportunity to put together a portfolio of varied work, whilst the experience of living and working in a foreign country will act as proof of your adaptability, and give you an interesting subject of discussion in future interviews.

The South African media landscape is one of the most pluralistic and and diverse of any country on the African continent. Media organisations cater for a broad demographic that speak 11 official languages!

Your Journalism experience in South Africa with Projects Abroad

Journalism volunteers in South Africa

Journalism volunteers will write for the Cape Chameleon online magazine. The Cape Chameleon is a community magazine exploring a variety of well-researched and balanced human interest stories.

By joining this placement you can work on a variety of of topics which include sport, arts and culture, human rights and health, among a host of others. As a Journalism volunteer you will research, interview and write content for the website. If you are a budding photographer, the placement will give you the chance to explore your photographic skills by taking photos to accompany your stories or for a standalone photospread. Every week at the Journalism placement each volunteer will have the opportunity to manage the social media pages of the Cape Chameleon and report on what other volunteers are working on.

A video option is also available whereby volunteers can produce their own videos. You will create, direct and edit these videos which may be published on the Cape Chameleon website. 

Volunteering at Cape Chameleon will give you a real opportunity to get involved, whether it be interviewing a local teacher, musician or sportsman or finding out local opinions on the latest South African rugby debate. You may travel to meet a local small business owner who is upset by a government decision, or you may be managing the magazine’s social media updates and reporting on what the other volunteers are doing.

Once your articles are completed, you will upload them on to a new Wordpress site. This means you experience using CMS and participate in the layout of your own article. 

Your role on a Journalism Volunteer Placement in South Africa

As a Projects Abroad volunteer, you should always be prepared to work independently but never be afraid to ask questions. An important aspect of this placement is to be willing to engage in new experiences and to seek out worthwhile stories for the magazine. We recommend that you read up about South Africa in general before and during your placement, as this means you’ll be better equipped to write great articles that will be published. Taking the initiative will pay off; and the more pro-active you are, the more you will gain from your experience.

A journalism volunteer in South Africa takes photographs for her magazine article

Volunteers have constant support whilst on their placement from an English-speaking supervisor. Projects Abroad staff also run workshops on various themes related to the discipline of journalism, organise press club lunches, tours of Parliament and media-related activities of interest.

Volunteers on a Journalism placement should expect to work from 9am to 4.30pm from Monday to Thursday and 9am to 1pm on Friday. Like any freelance journalist, all volunteers need to show a high level of proactivity and resourcefulness. Our Journalism placement offers a wide array of opportunities and volunteers who are willing to learn, ask questions and work in partnership with the supervisor will have a fantastic journalism experience.

All Journalism volunteers live with host families around Cape Town. You will normally be living in a host with one other volunteer, travelling to work on public transport.

You can join a Journalism project in South Africa for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. If you join us for two weeks you will gain a valuable cultural insight, however please be aware that you may not be able to complete your articles or make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. 

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