Communication today is moving away from the simple pushing of information to audiences, towards more proactive engagements. Media monitoring and the provision of clippings has been an essential part of communication services to corporates, governments and other organisations around the world. So have analysis products, which quantified or measured the output generated.

The media environment has changed. More information is available, real time โ€“ and the demand for measurements has increased in line with a greater focus on corporate governance.

The South African Media Monitoring and Measurement Association, (SAMMA) was founded in 2013 by some of the leading media monitoring and measurement companies in South Africa to address the need for better customer service, standardization in methodologies, and to ensure training for individuals and small enterprises wishing to enter this exciting and vibrant service.

The Association is a public, non-profit organisation established to develop appropriate skills, enhance knowledge, foster entrepreneurship, and represent the interests of media monitoring, press clipping, reputation analysis and measurement companies and associated individuals in South Africa.

One of its first tasks has been to ensure the legalisation of media monitoring in South Africa from a copyright point of view, bringing the country and the media industry in line with other global markets. Prior to 2013, the provision of copyrighted material in a news space has been in a legal โ€˜grey areaโ€™. By negotiating with the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) to manage and obtain copyright licences for the publishing houses, clients of media monitoring companies that are members of SAMMA can now have legal peace of mind as far as the use and sharing of information is concerned.

There are lots of other interesting things happening at SAMMA in 2014, such as workshops on new measurements of communication.