Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Zambia: Putting Health News in the Headlines


Knight International is working to make health reporting a regular beat at one of Zambia's leading newspapers. Knight Fellow Antigone Barton helped to establish the first health desk at the Zambia Daily Mail, one of the country's most influential newspapers. Under her coaching and mentoring, the staff markedly increased the quality and quantity of health stories on topics such as HIV/AIDS, drug-resistant tuberculosis, cholera and malaria. Barton’s fellowship ended in February 2010. Knight Fellow Zarina Geloo began work the same month at the Times of Zambia.

HIGHLIGHTS

-Helped reporters and editors produce a World AIDS Day package that included an examination of HIV-positive Zambian prisoners who return to their communities and spread the disease.

-Led a team of reporters in producing a ground-breaking series on cancer risks and links to AIDS, and on the challenges of cancer treatment in Zambia.

-Created a monthly health newsletter as a resource to assist journalists covering health-related stories.

-Helped the new health desk report on disease prevention.

-Led a team of reporters and editors in producing an award-winning series on malaria, the nation’s deadliest disease. Zambia’s health minister credited the newspaper’s coverage with helping to reduce malaria infections.

-Helped organize an association of journalists and health experts to serve as a resource for the media community and forum for discussing health threats and policies.

Blogs

  • Feb 262009

    Learning patience is easier here, but still hard

    LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — I had already spent a jet-lagged weekend here, strolling the dirt footpaths to the center of town and to the local shopping strip before I met the editor of the paper where I will be stationed the next year.

    That may be why when I asked him if he thought journalists here would be receptive to the support I hope to offer, I found his answer as credible as I did.

    "Yes, they will.

  • Feb 122009

    On My Way to Zambia

    When I started writing about the public health in Palm Beach County, Florida, five years ago, I didn’t imagine that what I learned would lead me to AIDS conferences in Australia and Mexico, to prisons and brothels in the Caribbean, and now, to Zambia where I will spend the next year working with health journalists.