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Institute for International Journalism to use grant to boost local media in South Africa

OHIO’s Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) is partnering with the Association of Independent Publishers in South Africa on a one-year effort to develop strategies for sustainable local news media funded by a $249,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State. The grant award was announced Sept. 21.

IIJ Director Jatin Srivastava and Professor Bill Reader, both in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, will organize a three-week program in summer 2023, based at OHIO’s Athens Campus, that will host 10 publishers from South Africa for workshops and site visits featuring experts in local news sustainability and publishers of successful independent news outlets in Ohio and bordering states. The Ohio-based portion of the project will be funded with approximately $96,000 of the total award.

After the OHIO program, the visiting publishers will return to South Africa to share what they learned in the U.S. via workshops to be held around South Africa, with OHIO faculty and other U.S.-based experts participating online. The goal is to help sustainable revenue models for small-scale, independent news media in South Africa.

The Association of Independent Publishers is South Africa’s leading organization for local grassroots newspapers, representing nearly 250 local news organizations with a collective readership of some 15.7 million people. Kate Skinner, an award-winning media-freedom activist and analyst, is the executive director of AIP.

The Institute for International Journalism was established at Ohio University in 1991 to coordinate the international initiatives of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Dr. Srivastava has been director of the IIJ since August 2020. Via the IIJ, Srivastava has organized and led multiple online workshops and symposia focused on journalism education and scholarship throughout the world. 

Reader, as a faculty affiliate of the IIJ, in 2015 was a keynote speaker at the Forum for Community Journalists annual conference in Middleburg, South Africa, and also conducted workshops and presentations for the Limpopo Independent Newspapers Association in Louis Trichardt, South Africa, and for the Department of Journalism at Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa. 

November 8, 2022
Staff reports