Whilst we’re bombarded with bad news on a daily basis, Jonathan Sinclair is in the privileged position to be surrounded by good news. He is the guy who is amplifying Beautiful News, a digital and social media publication for South Africa.
Since its launch in 2016, people have been inspired by the positive stories of human kindness, selflessness and courage of South Africans that Beautiful News shares on Facebook every day.
After he matriculated from Edenvale High School in 2006, Jonathan obtained his Media Practices Diploma and worked in the media industry until he joined Ginkgo Agency in 2017.
The agency created Beautiful News in 2016 and he was lucky enough to become involved with the project within its first few months of operation.
“The company was looking to create a satellite office in Johannesburg and they gave me the opportunity to head up this office and to take over all aspects of digital and social media distribution,” he explains.
Jonathan was appointed as content strategist and was responsible for the digital and distribution aspects of the project and for ensuring that the Beautiful News content reached the South African public and made an impact in their lives.
Today he is the head of department for the agency’s amplification team. His new role mainly entails fostering, maintaining and coordinating relationships with all of the partners who realise the value of Beautiful News for their audiences.
“Over the years, through proving the value Beautiful News content has, we have been able to forge relationships with many partners, allowing South Africans to be exposed to our content at airports, malls, universities, petrol stations, golf courses and more,” he proudly says.
Which part of your job is the most satisfying?
Seeing how our content makes a difference to people’s lives is very satisfying. The first time one of Beautiful News’ videos received more than three million views on Facebook was also very special.
Were there any stories that you did that stand out above the rest?
I do have a few stories that stand out. Mbali Mahlale is a young girl who was born without arms, but she has never let this stop her from pursuing her dreams. She has learnt to write with her feet and is passionate about education. She touched me with her hopes and aspirations for the future. Currently she dreams of being a dentist. Then there is my lighthearted story pick, about Joanne Lefson and Pigcasso, the painting pig whose artworks have put the spotlight on the rights of farm animals. Another story that moved me was Mandisa Monakali’s mission to ensure the women of her community have a place of safety, allowing them to report abuse or domestic violence in their mother tongue without fear.
Why do you believe in the publication of Beautiful News?
Having worked in a news environment before, I now realise how hearing and delivering negative news all day can have an impact on the way you feel about your country and your future. I understand the importance of a project like Beautiful News, which offers a much-needed counter-narrative. I have also seen first-hand the impact that giving South Africans an opportunity to tell their stories can have on them. So many of the people we showcase on Beautiful News have gone on to receive incredible opportunities after gaining the exposure.
You grew up on the East Rand and wish to share a few thoughts…
I encourage residents of Jo’burg East to remember that the East Rand is a wonderful and beautiful part of the world. Other regions of South Africa might have an ocean, mountain or a forest, but for me having grown up in the East, I see the beauty that lies in our mine dumps, our industrial areas dedicated to factories and development, our older areas where tin roofs are the norm. East Randers are some of the most wonderful, generous and
authentic people I have ever met.
You want people to allow themselves to be exposed to good news…
While hard news is important and while we need to keep ourselves informed of challenges, threats and negative things, allow yourself one minute each day to focus on the good things happening in South Africa. Those things can be seen 365 days per year at 4.14 pm on Beautiful News.
Details: Facebook: @BeautifulNewsSA
View Jonathan’s three best good news stories