Justin Arenstein is a Knight International Journalism Fellow who is helping the African Media Initiative (AMI) to establish a digital innovation program that supports experimentation in newsrooms across Africa. AMI, the continent's largest association of media owners and executives, is working with more than 600 of the most influential media companies in both northern and sub-Saharan Africa.
Arenstein is a veteran South African investigative journalist and media entrepreneur. He is recognized internationally as an expert in data-driven journalism and related new media technologies. Arenstein is co-founder of the pioneering independent news wire agency African Eye News Service (AENS). AENS and Arenstein have received a string of international awards for their investigative exposes into government corruption and social justice issues. This includes the Knight International Journalism Award in 2000. Arenstein was also a 2009-2010 Knight Fellow at Stanford University, where he explored social network analysis strategies for investigative journalism, as well as strategies to help independent grassroots media in Africa exploit the mobile web.
He serves as a consulting strategist on journalistic innovation for Google, and on the boards of a number of media industry entities and related press freedom bodies. He is a former member of the Press Council of South Africa, where he helped reform the Press Code and its press oversight mechanisms. He previously played a leading role in founding the continental Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), the Southern African Freelance Association (Safrea), and the Association for Independent Publishers (AIP).
Arenstein has been a judge on a number of international journalism awards programs. He also has been a regular keynote speaker at conferences, including major journalistic gatherings in Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Denmark, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Moldova, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Prior to his selection as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, Arenstein was on the sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee for the Knight International Journalism Fellowships.