Two years of MAVERICK CITIZEN – Journalism with Purpo …

Today, Maverick Citizen marks its second year of “Journalism with a Purpose” and what a dazzling year it has been!

Our VISION: To facilitate and write about solutions that offer the promise of creating a better and fairer life for people – those who live in South Africa and those affected by what our country does or doesn’t do. Maverick citizen focuses on social justice, promoting the creation of a society of equals – doing so with empathy, compassion and kindness. We report and underline the importance of active citizenship and are regarded as a reliable source of information and opinions on, among others, education, health, human rights and social issues. We are first and foremost journalists who use our professional tools to highlight different perspectives, educate, dispel apathy while providing high quality and relevant information related to the constitutional ideals of non-racism, non-sexism, dignity and equality.

Our MISSION: Shine a light on the marginalized, discover new voices, stimulate new thinking and debate, and be a space for excellent social justice journalism. A journalism service that reveals and defends the truth and demands accountability from those in power. We strive to keep the promise of our Constitution, a topical story, an investigation, an insightful opinion piece, an inspiring visual and an area of ​​special interest all at the same time.

As stated in our vision and mission, which we have refined over the past two years, Maverick citizen has always sought to highlight underreported issues within civil society and highlight stories that often don’t get the platform they deserve.

It is ordinary South Africans who do their best to live in a country that seems to make them invisible, which we seek to put forward in order to fulfill our country’s constitutional promise. Like the story of the homeless Alberts farm fighting for their right to dignity, or the widows of Aloe Community helping each other to survive drug shortages, or the rural children’s center which is take care of orphans forgotten by the Department of Social Development, the death and death in the Eastern Cape health system, how residents drug and gang colonies in Cape Town are fighting, or how the inhabitants of Amadiba help each other to survive thanks to their own agricultural initiatives.

Over the past year, the Covid-19 has dominated Maverick citizenand as such, we have particularly focused on the pandemic, building on the team’s wealth of health reports and networks. It even earned us recognition at the African Digital Media Awards 2021 for being the best trusted initiative, which we are quite proud of.

We also hoisted the flag thanks to great partners such as Projector, Bhekisisa, Mukurukuru Media, Viewfinder, GroundUp and wonderful independents.

We reported on everything from bi-monthly press briefings with the National Coronavirus Command Council, to how ordinary and poor people on the ground were affected and how provincial health systems were creaking under the weight of the virus. We have also established an authoritative presence on all things Covid by launching webinars with health experts on what Covid-19 is and answering people’s questions about the pandemic, allowing them direct access to information. indispensable.

Our other area of ​​health focus has been the Eastern Cape and our collapsing health system who was crippled by the impact of Covid-19. From staffing shortages in hospitals and the unavailability of beds when patients need to be admitted, to growing medico-legal lawsuits, the province is at a breaking point. Emergency medical services remain inaccessible to the most vulnerable who need them most, and frequent drug outages continue to plague the province.

While article 27 of our Constitution says that “everyone has the right to have access to health servicesincluding reproductive health services and no one can be denied emergency medical treatment ”, it appears our government has chosen to ignore this right when hospitals have to operate with gutted roofs, no water and no electricity, putting the lives of staff and patients at risk.

We have also shone the spotlight on the issue of Food justice, an area that receives little attention but has had a big impact on the survival of millions of South Africans. According to our Constitution, “everyone has the right to enough food and water”, yet there are 11.8 million South Africans reported as living on a hunger crisis level.

Part of the fight for food justice is creating food literacy so people are able to make informed decisions about what they eat and why they eat it. The food and beverage industry is riddled with misconduct and flout the regulations, and the public has the right to be informed.

Areas of food sovereignty in particular often cause stunted growth and malnutrition, all of which are part of the current food crisis exacerbated by Covid-19. As a publication that focuses on issues of social justice, tackling hunger is essential as it is created by the effects of an unequal and unjust society.

We have included our mission and vision so that our readers and contributors can hold us accountable for the principles contained therein, to ensure that our journalism remains of the highest quality.

We look forward to another landmark year of Maverick citizen and will continue to work to bring social justice issues to the fore. SM / MC

Zukiswa Pikoli is a journalist at Maverick citizen.

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