In September 2015, The Bhekisisa Mail & Guardian Health Journalism Centre received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its health coverage. In March 2016, the centre launched its own website. Bhekisisa focuses on solutions-based journalism, whether in news stories and analysis that help turn over our website traffic daily, or in narrative features that have become a trademark of our brand.

Bhekisisa also hosts critical thinking forums on social justice issues and conducts health journalism trainings.

Like most donor-funded journalism teams, we work closely together as a team to make things work – whether that’s dividing up daily social media shifts, helping to boost web traffic or sharing ideas about how to develop our stories and our brand.

Bhekisisa is looking for a new addition to our growing team dedicated to supporting collaboration and engagement with a range of communities on and offline around the country. 

We’re keen on developing new ways to tell stories and tell them to new audiences from small communities to high-level policy makers. Do you love the news and have a creative side? Are you just as comfortable digging into current events as you are in organising a backyard fundraiser for a friend’s side project? Can you distill complex, sensitive stories into 140-character tweets? This job could be for you.

Our engagement and collaborations officer will play a key role in disseminating our stories and engaging with our readers via social media. The officer will also spearhead creative, innovative methods to translate our stories for a range of non-traditional and targeted audiences as well as capacity-building and engagement initiatives rooted in specific communities.

You’ll work on projects that bring artists and journalists together to create new venues for journalism, such as hosting listening sessions with newsrooms and their communities to identify areas for collaboration and help create new models for public engagement around narrative health reporting.

The person in this role will design inventive engagement and impact strategies while helping to monitor Bhekisisa’s impact via software and innovative tools they design.

We are looking for someone who is a self-starter, has big ideas and knows what it takes to guide healthy, efficient collaborations. This role is equal parts community organizer, listener, instructor, partnerships manager and creative adviser. You must be able to juggle a variety of ongoing projects and look for ways to tie them together. The ideal candidate thrives on experimentation with a team spirit – someone who likes to stay organised and on track but is open to serendipity and exploring opportunities outside the box.

This position will report to Bhekisisa’s director and news editor and will be based at our Johannesburg office. Regular travel may be required.


Key responsibilities are as follows:

  • Produce daily and varied social media content to promote Bhekisisa content, drive web traffic and promote engagement across platforms. This content should include live publishing when appropriate. This will include keeping abreast of changes to social media platforms and adjusting the strategy accordingly;
  • Design community engagement initiatives and events inspired by Bhekisisa’s reporting with groups such as policy makers, readers and grassroots communities;
  • Organise and conceptualise critical thinking forums on health-related subjects;
  • Work with journalists to develop story-specific engagement/campaign strategies, mapping out key audiences/pressure points to affect change;
  • Build and grow relationships with local partners and look for new collaborative opportunities;
  • Track Bhekisisa impact – locally, nationally, online etc;
  • Compile regular reports tracking social media and online metrics, both for internal consumption and donor reports and create and publish documentation on Bhekisisa initiatives and measure their impact;
  • Manage timelines and deliverables for engagement initiatives and collaborations.

Our ideal candidate has a mix of the following:

  • A journalism degree or a degree in a related field;
  • At least three years of experience working in a newsroom or community-based organisation;
  • Experience managing complex professional relationships and partnerships between organisations or community groups;
  • Exceptional communication skills;
  • Direct experience organising and facilitating events;
  • An active social media presence and understanding of different social media platforms, as well as social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck ;
  • Ability to facilitate difficult conversations;
  • Understanding of how to build relationships with partners, local stakeholders and communities of interest, both online and off;
  • Excellent writing and language skills, including spelling and grammar, and attention to detail; ability to speak two or more official languages preferred;
  • Demonstrated community management experience across popular social media platforms, i.e. including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Experience with additional platforms is an advantage;

Sound like a good fit for you? Fill out this form, and we’ll get in touch. If you have any questions, email Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Those who do not hear back within four weeks of their application should consider their applications unsuccessful.