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We’ve come a long way, baby

  • We started off as a three-person health desk at the Mail & Guardian in 2013. A decade later, on our 10th birthday, we’re an independent media organisation with a staff of 20 full and part-time employees.
  • During the COVID pandemic, Bhekisisa’s reporting made the centre more well-known among the general public — in 2021 alone, our staff did almost 400 radio and television interviews about their COVID stories. But we were there long before this time of crisis with recorded impact on shaping health policy conversations in South Africa.
  • Today, we have an average of two million annual pageviews, and we’ve expanded from print-only stories to a monthly television programme, podcasts and tailor-made social media.
  • Want to know how Bhekisisa came about? Watch this seven-minute video to find out and learn more about Bhekisisa’s journey here.

In this newsletter Mia Malan describes how Bhekisisa began 10 years ago. Sign up.

Jessica Pitchford is Bhekisisa's TV and multimedia editor. She's been a journalist since the early nineties and has reported on some pivotal events in South Africa’s political history, such as the country’s transition to democracy and the work of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

Tanya Pampalone is Bhekisisa's business development consultant and climate health newsletter editor. Pampalone is the former managing editor of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, executive editor of the Mail & Guardian and head of partnerships and audience development for The Conversation Africa. Now a communications, strategy and fundraising consultant, she works with non-profit and mission-driven media groups in San Francisco and Johannesburg.


Tshidiso Lechuba is a freelance video editor working in Johannesburg.

Sabelo Mabele is a freelance video director.

Yolanda Mdzeke is a multimedia reporter at Bhekisisa.