IWMF Announces 2012 HIV/AIDS Investigative Reporting Fellowships

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 byfrayintermedia - that encourages innovative reporting on the epidemic.  View application.

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 protected] 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:
Nadine Hoffman
[email protected]