Journalists Invited to Submit Proposals for Investigations on Public Health Issues

Dinesh Balliah, Coordinator of the Career-Entry Honours in Journalism
Dinesh Balliah, Coordinator of the Career-Entry Honours in Journalism

The Africa-China Reporting Project, hosted at the Journalism Department of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg in South Africa, is inviting journalists to submit proposals for reporting grants of up to US$1,500 for investigations focused on public health and related issues.

The Project will provide capacity building and facilitation in the form of reporting grants, workshops and other opportunities for journalists to investigate complex dynamics and uncover untold stories. In their investigations, journalists are encouraged to emphasize on-the-ground impact and perspectives to illustrate how the lives of Africa’s people are changing amid the comprehensive phenomenon of Africa-China interactions.

In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing impact in Africa, the Project invites journalists to submit proposals investigating current ground-level responses, capacity, successes/failures, shortcomings, services and collaborations in African countries, communities and organisations.

Potential focus areas to guide applicants are:

  • Current state of preparedness in Africa for the COVID-19 epidemic
  • Existing state of public/private health services and programmes in Africa and expected requirements to deal with extreme crises and pandemics such as COVID-19
  • Current interaction, exchange and engagement between African and Chinese or foreign health professionals, practitioners, companies and institutions. Application in Africa of knowledge and successful measures used to fight the pandemic in China and elsewhere
  • Use of Chinese and other foreign health technology in Africa
  • Inspiring role models, humanitarians, innovators and advocates in the current climate of the African public health sector
  • Investigations of xenophobia and stigma inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health issues
  • Local community health solutions, capacity and measures in African countries
  • Application of public health best practices in Africa
  • Public health data and measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The impact of media coverage on pandemics and best practices for journalists for covering pandemics
  • The economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Lessons for combating the COVID-19 pandemic from previous pandemics and diseases

 Journalists are free to pursue other issues outside of the above areas as long as the focus is within the broad Africa-China public health framework.

To apply, interested journalists should address an email with the heading APPLICATION: PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTING GRANT and containing the following items (in attachments in MS Word or PDF formats) to by no later than 30 April 2020:

  • Applicant CV including a list of the previous reporting
  • Proposal for the story to be investigated, with a clear proposed headline at the start and a brief report of WHAT will be investigated and HOW with a methodology for how and where the investigation will be undertaken
  • An indication of where the investigation will be published
  • A detailed budget with specific line items totalling as much as US$1,500

The call is open to all journalists who present Africa-focused proposals and applicants need not necessarily have previous reporting experience in this area.

For any further questions please contact the Project team at

For more information, please visit: