Washington, DC – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is now accepting applications for its 2013 HIV/AIDS Investigative Reporting Fellowship Program, which will prepare 10 South African journalists to produce innovative coverage of the epidemic. The prestigious program, made possible with support from the MAC AIDS Fund, is in its third year.
Selected reporters will undertake a rigorous investigative journalism fellowship – administered by frayintermedia – that focuses on developing in-depth reporting on a wide range of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. Fellows receive one-on-one coaching as well as stipends to conduct their research. In addition, fellows build a valuable network of diverse contacts, including experts who participate in training workshops and sources provided by seasoned mentors.
“Our program is unique because it exposes journalists to HIV/AIDS story angles they never considered before,” IWMF Director of Programs Nadine Hoffman said. “The prevailing notion is that there are no new AIDS stories, but this fellowship challenges that notion, proving that countless stories about the epidemic are still waiting to be told. Our fellows are telling these stories in innovative ways that have real impact.”
2012 fellows – Zeenat Abdool (SABC Radio Channel Africa); Tanja Bencun (SABC Digital News); Bianca Capazorio (Weekend Argus); Euline Fillis (SABC FOKUS); Mukelwa Hlatshwayo (eTV); Sibongile Mashaba (Sowetan); Sipho Masombuka (The Times); Ina Skosana (The New Age); Bibi-Aisha Wadvalla (SciDev); and Nomsa Zwane (Alex FM) produced groundbreaking TV, online multimedia, print and radio investigative reports, which are featured on the IWMF’s website.
“The fellowship was the best thing that happened to me last year,” Hlatshwayo said.
Zwane called the program “a turning point in my life.”
Twenty journalists have completed the fellowship since its inception in 2011, producing groundbreaking coverage of the epidemic for their media outlets which has had a tangible impact in their communities.
To access the application form, go to iwmf.org/2013apply. Completed applications should be emailed to email@example.com. South African journalists working in the print, broadcast and Internet media, including freelancers, with three or more years of newsroom experience are eligible to apply.
Applications will be accepted until April 19, 2013, and the program will run May 2013 – January 2014.
For more information about this fellowship, contact Nadine Hoffman (202-496-1992, firstname.lastname@example.org) and follow @IWMF on Twitter.
By Wynona Latham -
Is reporting HIV and AIDs still frontpage news? Or do reporters regard it as tired, old news? If so, then Mia Malan challenges that belief.
Malan is the award-winning Mail and Guardian Health Reporter who recently won the Standard Bank Sikuvile Award for Analysis, Commentary and Background. She started as a journalist for SABC radio in Port Elizabeth in the 90s before moving into newspaper and television reporting. Malan was a Knight International Health Fellow from 2009-2011 and worked for Internews Network as a Resident Adviser in Kenya. She currently lectures Health Journalism at Rhodes University.
Journalism was not her first choice. In fact, she initially studied Speech Therapy and Audiology. “I was one of those very confused people who didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” said Malan.
She and gravitated to health journalism because it was relevant to bigger regional story. “When I was working in Port Elizabeth, I did not know what it (HIV and AIDs) was, but working in a newsroom meant that I needed a big story. In the Eastern Cape, the two biggest topics were health and education,” she recalled.
Malan believes interest in science along, with her interest in telling stories about people, pushed her towards health reporting after attending an International Aids Conference in Geneva in 1998.
“I covered the HIV and AIDs then because it was a political issue, it was prominent,” said Malan who completed a Masters at Stellenbosch University in 2003 with a thesis on media coverage of the scientific politics of HIV. But beyond the politics, she was attracted to the human story. “I think that HIV and Aids is interesting because it is like a window onto the world.”
What is essential to the stories she writes? “Sometimes science is hard to understand. People are not going to read your story if you just involve figures; you need to have a human face,” said Malan. “This human face will make the story more competitive in terms of the interest to the news editor and the audience.”
One story can also lead to another: “I was at a media conference for Soweto TV and I had a conversation with the HIV Media Project manager of Wits who told me about a clinic in the township that treated white people. It was interesting because AIDs had made them go into a township.
“The story was about people going in with prejudices, but the experience at the clinic made them drop their prejudices. Not only the white people, but the black people as well. In the end it wasn’t about HIV and AIDS, it was about prejudice and about something that usually created prejudices that did the opposite,” noted Malan about the story which was eventually published by the Mail & Guardian as “Saved by ‘Township Treatment”.
Apart from the basic journalism skills, Malan believes reporters also need to be able to report on policy. “When I train around HIV, skills like how to do an interview, how to research and how to writer in a compelling manner take up 80% of the training, while HIV information will be 20%,” said Malan.
Always be open to story ideas is important. Malan’s award-winning story ‘Abduction’ – about the remerging culture of kidnapping or ukuthwala of young girls for wives in the Eastern Cape – is an example of this. “I went to Zithulele [the area where the kidnappings took place] because there was a government hospital that worked exceptionally well and I did a story around it. Two weeks after I had returned home, the clinical manager Dr Ben Gaunt contacted me about a girl in a coma.”
As a freelance journalist, Malan did not have the resources to return to Zithulele but was able to use her existing research as a starting point. The connection between this story and HIV and AIDs became clear as Malan continued her research. “I felt the story was very relevant due to the comments made by Mandla Mandela, the son of Nelson Mandela that ukuthwala was an acceptable practice and the pressure on him to change his stance.”
Malan spent a week in between other assignments and her university teaching job writing and researching the story. “During my visit to Zithulele, I had spoken to a person from an NGO that dealt with teenage mothers. Usually in ukuthwala you have to have a quick succession of babies and there are some health risks around that,” she said. “I could use quotes from that interview in my story.”
Malan also looked at statistics such as birth rates and HIV prevalence. She contacted a diverse range of sources including someone who had seen the kidnapping and a girl who had been saved from ukuthwala. “All of this was done over the phone,” said Malan, noting that this had limitations: “Being there would have been easier to build up trust and capture the kind of nuances that you can only really get when you speak to someone in person.”
“The grandmother (of the young girl) knew the doctor; the mother worked in the hospital and knew the doctor. Because she trusted Ben, the clinical hospital manager, she trusted me.”
Told that the grandmother could speak English, Malan called to set up a time for the interview. “When I talked to her, I realised that she would not be comfortable expressing her emotions English. I would not be able to get her full experience and so I asked someone to translate for me.”
This process of translation over the phone took an hour of talking for what was ultimately a small quote. “Telephone interviews are difficult because they’re timeconsuming and you never get everything,” said Malan.
In order to give the story a human face, Malan identified and then divided up the issues: “HIV and AIDs, teen pregnancy, lack of education… I used the story as an example of these problems,” said Malan.
“I think that young reporters need to change how they approach health journalism,” said Malan. “They need to broaden their outlook and approaches to health issues.”
Malan identifies a range of skills journalists need to be health journalists: contacts, knowledge health policy, general science knowledge and an understanding of society. Most of all, said Malan: “Don’t report on health if you are not interested in health.”
Washington, D.C. – The International Women’s Media Foundation has joined forces with eight South African news organizations to improve media coverage of the complex issues surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic there.
HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact inSouth Africa, with more than 500,000 new infections each year, and 1.2 million children orphaned as a result of AIDS. Yet, mainstream media coverage of the epidemic has been characterized by a lack of urgency, failure to examine the reasons behind stigma and denial, and inadequate engagement with people living with the disease. The stories of women, who are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, often remain untold.
To address this critical gap in coverage, the IWMF created a prestigious HIV/AIDS Investigative Reporting Fellowship inSouth Africa to transform the way that HIV/AIDS reporting is done.
For a second year, a cohort of 10 accomplished South African-based journalists will complete the IWMF fellowship. 2012 fellows represent a range of South African news organizations, including both national and community media outlets. They include: Zeenat Abdool, South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio Channel Africa; Tanja Bencun, SABC Digital News; Bianca Capazorio, the Weekend Argus; Euline Fillis, SABC FOKUS; Mukelwa Hlatshwayo, eTV; Sibongile Mashaba, the Sowetan; Sipho Masombuka, The Times; Ina Skosana, The New Age; Bibi-Aisha Wadvalla, SciDev; and Nomsa Zwane, Alex FM. Read more about the IWMF’s 2012 fellows here. <http://iwmf.org/pioneering-
Selected fellows will receive advanced training and coaching to produce innovative, high-quality investigative reporting on the complex, underreported issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, reflecting women’s voices and concerns. Each will produce 3-4 investigations for their news organizations as part of the IWMF program.
Launched in 2011, the fellowship is supported by the M*A*C AIDS Fund, and administered by frayintermedia.
2011 fellows produced more than 30 investigative pieces on a spectrum of issues including HIV/AIDS in the military, the spread of the disease through rape in prison populations, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, the stigma HIV-positive teens face, HIV/AIDS among sex workers, the impact of the disease on the agricultural sector, the role of male medical circumcision in HIV/AIDS prevention, and the plight of illegal immigrants in South Africa seeking HIV treatment.
Founded in 1990, the IWMF is the only nonprofit organization working exclusively to strengthen the role of women in the news media worldwide. The IWMF has conducted programs in 25 countries, and its network includes women and men working in the news media in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit www.iwmf.org <http://www.iwmf.org/> .
Washington, D.C. – The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has announced a second round of its prestigious HIV/AIDS Investigative Reporting Fellowships in South Africa, supported by the M*A*C AIDS Fund.
The IWMF seeks 10 experienced South African journalists to participate an elite year-long program – administered by frayintermedia – that encourages innovative reporting on the epidemic.
Selected reporters will undertake a rigorous investigative journalism fellowship that focuses on developing in-depth reporting on a wide range of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS. Fellows receive one-on-one coaching as well as stipends to conduct their research. 2011 fellows produced more than 30 investigative pieces on a spectrum of issues including HIV/AIDS in the military, the spread of the disease through rape in prison populations, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, the stigma HIV-positive teens face, HIV/AIDS among sex workers, the impact of the disease on the agricultural sector, the role of male medical circumcision in HIV/AIDS prevention, and the plight of illegal immigrants seeking treatment.
“Investigations from the IWMF’s 2011 fellows have had a tangible impact, in some cases even leading to policy changes, and we know that the incoming 2012 fellows will build on their predecessors’ successes,” Elisa Lees Munoz, the IWMF’s acting executive director, said.
“The training model goes beyond short-term workshops and incorporates a more transformative, long-term approach,” said frayintermedia managing director Paula Fray. “In this way, we are able to produce more sustainable change that focuses on honing innovative coverage and deepening investigative skills.”
Last year’s fellows – Laura Lopez Gonzalez (IRIN/Plus News); Thabile Maphanga, (SABC Radio); Zinhle Mapumulo (City Press); Harriet Mclea (The Times); Yolisa Njamela (SABC TV); Ramatamo Sehoai (Alex Pioneer); Thandi Skade (The Star); David Steynberg (People); Nastasya Tay (Eyewitness News); and, Fidelis Zvomuya (Agriconnect) – produced groundbreaking TV, online multimedia, print and radio investigative reports. Links to fellows’ stories are available here: http://iwmf.org/pioneering-change/hiv-aids-reporting/articles.aspx.
During their final gathering in December 2011, fellows praised the program for the professional development opportunities it provided them. “The best part about the fellowship was the network of health journalists that I made, and the network of contacts of guest speakers who came to talk,” Mclea said. “I now have a greater knowledge of the media landscape regarding HIV in the country and feel informed and better placed to write about HIV issues in context.”
Lopez Gonzalez described the fellowship as an incredibly enriching and rare opportunity: “Sessions on story planning, interviewing skills and the use of narrative were extremely practical and very helpful. I hope to use the skills I gained in narrative writing to improve and vary my reporting on HIV in the future.”
Alex Pioneer managing editor Welcome Moyo said investing in the program was worthwhile: “We did have difficulties…but I think more stories like these are a very good thing. We need these types of stories, especially in our community. When you speak directly to issues affecting Alexandra instead of just South Africa it hits home like no other.”
Applications can now be submitted to email@example.com ahead of the April 26, 2012 deadline. For more information and a copy of the application form, go to www.iwmf.org.
For more information or interviews, contact:
Participants at the Advanced Social Media Workshop on November 8 were taken through the principles and best practices of content curation using social media. As part of a short practical exercise, they submitted the following curated content using Storify.
POWER REPORTING – The African Investigative Journalism Conference: Bursaries Now Available For Climate Change Reporters!
With the approach of the COP17 talks in Durban, and the shocking example of drought in Somalia, climate change will take centre stage in African reporting in the coming months.
John Vidal, the London Guardian’s environment editor, will be speaking at the conference and running a training session on reporting climate change.
A limited number of bursaries are available for investigative journalists reporting climate change in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa to attend the conference. Send a motivation letter by email, with at least two examples of reporting on issues of climate change to firstname.lastname@example.org
The bursary will cover flights, accommodation, transport in SA and food. But not visas and home country transport.
Closing date: Friday 15 October 2011.
This one-day advanced workshop is targeted at all communicators; journalists, public relations practitioners and advocacy managers. It will focus on interactive social media tools used for content creation and curation.
Participants will walk away with the confidence to use tools like Storify to develop coherent narratives using a range of social media sources.
The workshop also includes a practical guide to media ethics, social media best practice and reach tracking.
To garner the full benefit of this workshop, participants are required to have a basic working knowledge of the more common social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Cost: R 1 368 (vat inclusive).
Space is limited due to the interactive nature of the training. Internet access is provided – please bring your laptop for immediate implementation.
To register, please contact Nhlanhla Kubeka on 011 341 0767 or at email@example.com
Introduction to Social Media Tools workshop
This one-day workshop on effective interactive social media tools – such as Twitter and Facebook – is targeted at all communicators: journalists, public relations practitioners and advocacy managers.
This introduction to the social media landscape gives practical guidelines on how to use these new tools to collect and disseminate information – and measure its impact.
Cost: R1, 200 (excluding VAT). Space is limited due to the interactive nature of the training. Internet Access is provided – please bring your laptop for immediate implementation.
To register, please contact Nhlanhla Kubeka on 011 325 0767 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This three-day course is an introduction to sub-editing and seeks to provide a solid foundation in text editing. The course satisfies the MAPPP-SETA requirements for Unit Standard 110358: Sub-editing non-specialist text
Numerous exercises will test the participants’ understanding of each aspect of the syllabus. After completion of the course the participants should be able to edit copy, write headlines and captions and guard against the main legal dangers facing journalists.
An ample supply of notepaper
Copies of newspapers
Their publication’s style book (if available)
Cost: R2736,00 VAT inclusive
Venue: Suite 252 Dunkeld West Centre, 277 Jan Smuts Avenue, Dunkeld, 2196.