Mercedes Sayagues is a Knight International Journalism Fellow who is building a network of health journalists in Mozambique with the skills to produce regular coverage of life-threatening diseases and health challenges. She created the first-ever health section at the influential weekly Savana, which features stories on issues such as AIDS, cholera and maternal mortality.
She is a journalist, media trainer and researcher who specializes in HIV and AIDS, health, gender, human rights and humanitarian issues. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian.
A South Africa-based media trainer and freelance journalist, Sayagues was chief editor for the Portuguese version of the web-based information service PlusNews from 2005 to 2008. Supported by the UN, PlusNews is the largest source of news about HIV and AIDS in Africa. Sayagues built the news service, identified and trained a network of correspondents, edited their stories and produced her own, managed the Web site, published a quarterly magazine, oversaw production of rip-and-read radio programs, produced a training manual on reporting on AIDS, and developed partnerships with AIDS actors in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe.
She was a freelance journalist based in Zimbabwe during the critical 1994-2001 period, reporting for South Africa’s Mail & Guardian, along with other news organizations.