Volume will:

Let radio thrive

Volume is a platform that enables community radio stations in Africa to broadcast better local news and attract more advertising clients. This is so the stations can provide better content to their millions of listeners. 

 
 
 
 
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Our Mission

 

Our mission is to improve the lives of the 8.4 million rural and semi-rural South Africans who listen to community radio and upskill the journalists, editors and presenters who work at the 240 stations.

We will do this by increasing the quality and quantity of local news at every station and increasing the stations’ access to ad revenue and in the process make them more sustainable.

 
 
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We Improve The Lives of The Poorest People in South Africa

Volume is working with the absolute poorest people in South Africa. Our community radio stations service people that are plagued by high unemployment, low-literacy and incredibly sparse service delivery. These are rural and semi-rural areas where people are suffering economically and a lack of local news leaves them uninformed and unable to effectively participate in the democratic process afforded to them by the SA constitution.

 

 South African Media Innovation Programme 2017

South African Media Innovation Programme 2017

Our partners

We currently receive funding from The South African Media Innovation Programme (SAMIP) which is part of the Media Development Investment Fund. 

We were part of the JAMLAB accelerator hosted by WITS journalism in partnership with Ryerson University, Toronto and Journalists for Human Rights.

We have partnered with community activist NGO Grassroot to receive stories from important, areas. And we have partnered with Citizen Justice Network (CJN) to help them use the Volume platform for their justice programming.

 

 

Community Radio & Local News

Community radio serves 8.4 million South African listeners, yet less than 14% of its news content is local.

This is a problem for the stations, as they need to produce local news to keep their broadcasting licences, but it also deprives rural and semi-rural listeners of important information they need to survive. 

A lack of local news threatens democratic principles, because it takes away a central mechanism that keeps local governments and police services accountable.

We want to:

  • Help grow the community radio sector in Africa.
  • Improve news and current affairs content on these stations and encourage investigative journalism at a local level. 
  • Be the connective tissue between community and mainstream media so local reporters can get better recognition and important content can be better distributed.
 

263+

Community radio stations in South Africa

Ranging from small stations in rural areas to campus stations in the big urban centres.

 

8+

millions of listeners

Community radio remains one of the most popular free mediums for news and entertainment.

 
 

11+

Official languages

All 11 official languages are used for broadcasting.

 

Our Products

Volume has developed a suite of products that enables community radio stations to offer a better listening experience to their audiences.

 

Volume Ads
 

Technology platform

Volume News
 

Creative studio

 

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April 2018

Having completed their six months on JamLab’s accelerator programme, the team is well on its way to making an invaluable impact on community radio

Tshepo Tshabalala / Read Full Article

 

 

Our Story
 

 Radio transmitter in Orange Farm, South Africa - that, at the time of the photo, reached 300 000 listeners.

Radio transmitter in Orange Farm, South Africa - that, at the time of the photo, reached 300 000 listeners.

 
 

Be Local. Be Brilliant

Journalist and Volume co-founder Paul McNally went on a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowship at Harvard in 2016 to research how to improve community radio in Africa. He gathered a wealth of information from the folk at The Nieman Foundation and MIT and returned to South Africa to try and implement a way to fix a news problem for millions of radio listeners who are often incredibly poor and based in hard to reach areas. There was very little news being served to these people and the sector was in severe financial trouble. 

McNally met Roland Perold in June 2017. Perold had worked in product development for several years and was fascinated with the idea of using technology to improve news distribution in Africa. 

Together they founded Volume and incubated their ideas and passion as one of the first cohort of JAMLab fellows, at a technology and innovation precinct in Johannesburg. 

After six months in the accelerator they had a clear path for how to improve the news in these areas and attract advertising revenue so the community stations could be more sustainable.

In December 2017 they won a grant from The South African Innovation Media Programme. They were chosen as one of the best media innovations in the country from 100s of entries. Volume, with SAMIP, are now busy working to enhance their platform and attract early adopters from every corner of the community radio sector to improve this vital and under-resourced space for everyone.  

 

 
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Our team

We are based at the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Pop in!

  Paul McNally / Co-founder

Paul McNally / Co-founder

  Segopotso Thothela / Intern

Segopotso Thothela / Intern

  Roland Perold / Co-founder

Roland Perold / Co-founder