Eighty-seven news organisations in 23 countries had by the end of 2018 successfully bid for the funding, which will be applied throughout 2019. Only two of those were from South Africa.

Tiso Blackstar Group plans to use the funds to improve the multimedia skills of staff across its newsrooms, including specialist training for multimedia producers, and to prioritise a year-long investigative video reporting project.

The latter will include exploring new video journalism formats and techniques.

"Together with our award-winning journalists at the Sunday Times, we will produce a high-quality, in-depth investigative video journalism series. The funding gives our teams the chance to explore alternative storytelling methods and allows us to improve the skills of journalists who have never delved into multimedia journalism before," says Tiso Blackstar Group’s head of video content, Amanda Moore.

Moore says that, although video journalism in South Africa yielded positive results in terms of user interaction and views, media organisations under financial pressure still found it difficult to support their multimedia output with adequate resources.

"Equipment is expensive. Training people is expensive and takes time. Producing quality videos takes time. This funding means that we can invest not only in producing the kind of multimedia journalism that our country deserves but also in our staff members, which is something you can’t put a price on," adds Moore.

Other organisations that were successful in their bid for the funding include Germany’s Der Spiegel; The Guardian and the Financial Times in the United Kingdom; and The New York Times, The Washington Post and Bloomberg in the United States. Each news outlet’s innovation project has a different focus depending on the needs of the organisation and the region.

In a statement on its website, the GNI said it would publicise some of the projects to demonstrate how its 'partners across the globe push the boundaries of video journalism'.

"We’ve got the talent. Now, with equipment and training, we can nurture that talent to produce the content that South Africans need," concludes Moore.

For more information, visit www.tisoblackstar.com.

*Image courtesy of TimesLive