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ORGANISATIONAL BACKGROUND

Versatile Media Institute is an Association Incorporated under Section 21. The organization is based in Soshanguve and was established after the realisation for a need to address the issues affecting communities - especially unemployed young people around the townships north of the City of Tshwane and nearby rural areas of the Bojanala District in the North West Province.

The institute is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation (Registration No 2010/014969/08) and has six board members drawn from various sectors because of their different skills and expertise in the fields such as training, Financial Management, Basic Business Management and both Print and Electronic Media.
Versatile Media Institutes publishes a community newspaper, Sosh Times. The Publication report on community issues and it is distributed in the northern parts of the City of Tshwane and parts of North West Province. Sosh Times also publishes news in indigenous languages spoken in the circulation areas, and it serves as a communication medium for the residents therein. The institute provides a hands-on skills programme for students studying towards a diploma or degree in journalism, photography and marketing from private colleges and the Tshwane University of Technology.

Sosh Times is a cracking community publication widely respected both in the public and private sector hitherto, the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) has also entrusted us with a role to mentor other community publications in South Africa by providing them with relevant skills such Basic Newspaper Reporting, Newspaper Production and Newspaper Management.

We are currently mentoring Masilonyana community newspaper in the Free State and Ndzamana Community Newspaper in Limpopo.
Sosh Times is a community-based publication and its primary aim is to inform, educate, and entertain and to inspire communities in their day-to-day developmental and other activities. We print twenty thousand (20 000) copies fortnightly.

The newspaper is circulated in the areas north of the City of Tshwane and the townships of Brits; Mothotlung and Letlhabile. In line with government policy to promote and encourage reading amongst all sectors of our communities we publish a page in Sosh Times specifically focused on education matters and information. We publish a literature page wherein learners and tertiary students submit their poems.

We also publish in the six indigenous languages, Sepedi, Setswana, Isi-Zulu, Isi-Ndebele, Xi-Tsonga and Tshi-Venda, spoken in the areas of our circulation. We have a regular Sepedi column focused on the youth. These languages are written by experts and other language practitioners.


Programme Activities:

Sosh Times is involved in the following described herein as programme activities: Basic newspaper reporting and production (unemployed youth) Sales and Marketing - Internship for journalism and marketing students.


Vision

  • A developmental organisation that strives to improve the communities.
  • Quality of life through information sharing and participation.
  • Sosh Times Catch Phrase: Bringing News to the people.

Mission

To provide relevant training, diverse development programmes to people in the communities we serve. Also to focus on building the capacity of individuals and instilling self-worthiness. Encourage young people to become Media owners.


Objectives

Sosh Times, among other activities, equips members of the community especially young people with coping skills dealing with the demands of life and providing them with knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their lives, and as competent participants of the society.

The focus is on:
  • Life skills.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Basic Journalism skills.
  • Newspaper production.
  • Sales and Marketing.