Highway Africa Centre Fellowship Opens

Sizwe Mabizela, Vice-chancellor, Rhodes University
Sizwe Mabizela, Vice-chancellor, Rhodes University

The Highway Africa Centre is now accepting applications from practicing journalists for fellowships to attend a three-day course scheduled for November 26 to 28, 2018, on Solutions Journalism with special focus on Health, Development and Development Science. Successful applicants will also have the opportunity to attend this year’s Highway Africa conference which takes place from November 29 to 30, 2018.

The course seeks to build the capacity of journalists to use solutions journalism lens in their coverage of Health, Development and Development Science issues using a solutions journalism framework. The Science Solutions course will have three main focus areas. Fellows will lean heavily toward health issues but will not limit a committed science journalist to one particular area of expertise.

Fellows will examine the persistent scourge of tuberculosis (TB) and how it affects African populations. It will use cases studies in the Makana area to investigate how medical science battles this contagious infection. Participants will discuss and write articles on: drug-resistant tuberculosis; new tests for diagnosing TB in Children; how to manage the side effects of TB medication and investigate if humans can contact TB from animals or food.

Water and ways of ensuring that clean water reaches the population is another area Fellows will look at. Again, test cases will be used in the Makana area but these cases will be applicable to other African towns of a similar size. Fellows will examine ways of storing/transporting water without it getting polluted; ways of testing water to ensure its safety; methods of cleaning water on an economically viable scale and methods of reducing waste.

In the third area, fellows will share information on how to cover science stories. As health is of prime concern to most of the population, a large proportion of science journalists become good at various aspects of health journalism. This does not help them however if they have been assigned to cover a science story in an unfamiliar field. This area will teach participants how to navigate terrain that they have never encountered before. Participants will apply certain methods and learn how to confront these situations with greater confidence.

The Fellowship will cover flight tickets, airport transfers within South Africa, accommodation and group meals.

To qualify, applicants must be journalists working for news organisations on a full-time capacity and have a minimum of five years’ experience as a journalist with a portfolio of science, health or development-related stories (minimum five).

Interested journalists should submit an application letter; curriculum vitae and a support letter from their editor/publisher and a 200-word motivation on what benefit this training would be to them.

Applications should be sent to Tatenda Chatikobo (Mr.), Conference Coordinator, Highway Africa Centre, T.Chatikobo@ru.ac.za.

Applications close on October 29, 2018