As News Decoder celebrates its 5th birthday, our communications manager tackles new challenges while her successor will help position us for future growth.

Savannah Jenkins and Tendayi Chirawu in front of News Decoder’s office, Paris, France, 20 July.

By Nelson Graves News Decoder is starting its sixth year with a changing of the guard. Our longest serving staff member, Savannah Jenkins, will be embarking on new academic challenges, while her successor as Communications Manager, Tendayi Chirawu, joins our not-for-profit determined to give young people a platform for effecting change. Jenkins will be starting a master’s program in Paris after two stints at News Decoder — first in 2018, then for the past nine months after a spell working in the fashion industry and for an NGO helping refugees disembarking in Greece. Born in Zimbabwe, Chirawu is a published author and professional editor, with teaching experience and a master’s in global communications. Jenkins and now Chirawu hold key responsibilities at News Decoder — communicating with our diverse stakeholders, managing our network of Student Ambassadors at partner academic institutions, handling our social media platforms and coordinating the production of our annual podcast, The Kids Are Alright. Jenkins has helped News Decoder grow its readership and number of partners during its first five years of operations. Chirawu arrives as we take on board several new partners and launch a re-designed website to stimulate increased public viewership and deeper student engagement in years to come. “My time at News Decoder has taught me the importance of delivering solid, well-researched work in a timely manner,” said Jenkins, who did her undergraduate work at the American University of Paris (AUP) and will be starting a two-year master’s program at Panthéon-Assas University in Paris in Media and Globalization.

‘News Decoder prepares youth for the future.’

Both Jenkins and Chirawu studied at AUP, which was also attended by Board member Nolwazi Mjwara, ex-Communications Manager Alexandra Gray and former summer intern Maryam Touimi Benjelloun. Chirawu studied at the University of Namibia before earning a master’s in Global Communications and Civil Society at AUP. She has published a novel, “Narinhi- Man of the Lie,” and runs her own website. She has worked with NGOs and in the past year taught English at an international school in Paris. Chirawu said she appreciates News Decoder’s efforts to teach media literacy to youth. “People in power are always saying, ‘Children and youth are the future and the ones who will bring change,'” she said. “Often they don’t follow up with giving them the tools and opportunities to effect change, and many times they silence them. I feel that News Decoder is bridging that gap and giving the youth part of the skills and agency needed to prepare for and meet the future.” Asked what she would like to see for News Decoder in the future, Jenkins said: “Those who work with News Decoder, consume our content and use our resources know its value. I would love to see the brand become a highly reputable and recognizable source around the world for trustworthy news stories, and to see News Decoder’s educational program integrated into more classrooms in new countries.”
Nelson Graves is News Decoder’s founder.
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