OUT&PROUD – Quality journalism needs plural perspectives and stories

A call for journalist reportage in Southern African countries.

LGBTQI+ people “remain largely invisible in African media” and were underrepresented or misrepresented using discriminatory or stereotypical language. These are the main results of different media studies conducted in the last 5 years in Southern Africa[1].  While visibility has improved in many countries, representation problems persist when journalists use discriminatory, stereotypical, sensational, moralizing, marginalizing, and misgendering language and framing device

A journalist and Media trainer Bella Matambanadzo says  “There are narratives of rejection, narratives of pain, but also narratives of joy, of absolute desire, of tremendous pleasure, happiness, and personhood…We are not just talking about subjects, we are talking about human beings who deserve absolute dignity and humanity.

In order to further improve regional news media coverage of LGBTQI+ issues, journalists must embrace this human-centric and human rights-affirming approach to their work.

In dark times of global pandemics, economic downturns, conflict, climate change, poverty and inequality, people rely on quality journalism to better understand the complex world in which we live. Journalism can also help break down walls of prejudice and ignorance and regulate undemocratic tendencies. This is not an easy task in the age of the Internet and globalization.

Media actors are currently bewildered. Different technologies have changed the way journalists work, and previously profitable market models no longer deliver profitable returns. Employers are cutting back on costs, creating precarious jobs where high standards of journalism are increasingly difficult to achieve.

Diversity can be a key and crucial asset to bring about positive change in this context.

In this framework, the Project Out and Proud: LGBTI equality and rights in Southern Africa, co-funded by the European Union and implemented by COSPE with a network of local and international civil society organisations is launching an opportunity for journalists and media practitioners to realize reportages that can positively influence narratives and create awareness around LGBTI issues. The call aims to promote and support a journalistic investigation or reportage that pays specific attention to gender and sexual minorities’ stories. The jury – composed by media expert, journalists representative organisations, LGBTQI+ associations –  will select and reward ideas of reportages with awards of up maximum to 5000 euros each. The deadline for applications is the 15th of April.  The Award ceremony is estimated to take place in Johannesburg by middle June 2021.


To apply:



[1] https://www.iranti.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Iranti_SDF-Study_22November2019.pdf

news media analysis of LGBTQI+ coverage in East and Southern Africa