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Africa-China Reporting Workshop & Fieldwork Project for journalists

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The Africa-China Reporting Project (the Project) at Wits Journalism is seeking applications from African and Chinese journalists to participate in the Africa-China Reporting Workshop & Fieldwork Project in Johannesburg in November 2017.

To apply, please see the “How to apply” section below.

Africa-China Reporting Workshop & Fieldwork Project

This will be a practical skills and training Workshop at Wits Journalism in Johannesburg, and a Fieldwork Project where participants will be given time, support and mentoring by working professional journalists to undertake an Africa-China reporting investigation in Johannesburg/Gauteng.

The premise of this Workshop is that African and Chinese journalists can work together for better results in reporting and investigating important Africa-China issues. The Project will select five African and five Chinese journalists, and will pair them together in five teams of two each based on proposals submitted by the journalists and the theme selected by each (see below). The Project will pair participants well in advance of the Workshop and give them time to communicate and familiarise with each other; the objective is for them to learn as much as possible from each other and work well together.

Workshop delegates will arrive in Johannesburg on 6 Nov. The Workshop will consist of two stages: training and skills development Workshop (around three days, 7-9 Nov.), and the Fieldwork Project (around ten days, 10-19 Nov.). During the training and skills development stage, all the workshop participants will undergo practical training as well as refine and align the investigation they will do. For the fieldwork/reporting stage of the Workshop, the Project will assign assistants from the Wits Journalism Department and working journalists as mentors to each team, who will undertake their investigation under the guidance of the following mentors who are professional and experienced journalists:

  • John Bailey (eNCA)
  • Kevin Bloom (The Daily Maverick)
  • Phillip de Wet (Mail & Guardian)
  • Carien du Plessis (freelance)
  • Richard Poplak (The Daily Maverick)

Chinese journalist Huang Hongxiang will also be available to assist the journalists during the Workshop. All five teams must complete their investigations by November 20 and present their findings to the best extent possible at the Project’s Africa-China Journalists Forum that takes place on this date at Wits University.

The Project will provide airfares, accommodation, reporting stipends and other related expenses for each participant. As this is a Reporting Workshop, applicants will be expected to include a specific Africa-China research proposal in their applications as well as select a theme from the list below. It is essential that applicants provide a reporting proposal for a topic that can practically be investigated in Johannesburg/Gauteng during the time of the Workshop and is an important Africa-China issue.

Africa-China reporting themes

The Project has selected the following options for applicants to select Africa-China reporting themes for the investigations to be undertaken as part of this Workshop (the following is a guideline that applicants can use for additional themes/ideas):

  • Industrialisation & development (e.g. implementation of the 2015 FOCAC action plan on industrialisation; special economic zones; impact of Chinese imports on Africa’s manufacturing sector; Chinese support for African industrialisation; joint programmes, projects and activities; specific cases of cooperation or successes and failures; the link between Chinese policy banks and investment in the manufacturing sector, etc.)
  • Business, the economy & trade (Africa-China business interactions; business deals and money flows; training and skills transfers; balance of trade between Africa and China; actors such as state-owned enterprises and individual enterprises and their partnership with the African corporate sector; role of financial institutions; corporate social responsibility, etc.)
  • Agriculture & food security (e.g. impact of Chinese agricultural demonstration centres in Africa; private Chinese investors in the African agricultural sector; link between China and the UN in the food and agricultural sector; Chinese support for African agriculture; joint programmes, projects and activities; specific cases of cooperation or successes and failures; training and support for African farmers and workers, etc.)
  • The environment (e.g. Africa-China cooperation on UN-led climate initiatives; wildlife poaching, trafficking and illicit trades; impact of Chinese investments on African ecologies, etc.)
  • Culture, language & education (e.g. people-to-people interactions and mechanisms; migration from China to Africa and from Africa to China; cultural assimilation and barriers; Chinese language in African schools and universities; soft power, etc.)

How to apply

African and Chinese journalists are invited to send applications addressing the requirements below in an email entitled “APPLICATION: AFRICA-CHINA REPORTING WORKSHOP 2017” to BY NO LATER THAN 29 SEPTEMBER 2017.

Applications should contain the following:

  • Applicant CV and short personal bio (no more than 250 words)
  • List of applicant’s previous published reporting on Africa and/or Africa-China, including online links where available
  • Clear indication of which theme is preferred based on the five suggested above
  • Proposal for a relevant and specific Africa-China topic to be pursued during fieldwork/reporting stage of the Workshop. This proposal must be practical and not too broad in scope (see the Project’s guidelines for reporting grant applications that call for proposals with a relatively narrow focus around specific projects or issues)

Please take note of the following when preparing proposals:

  • Applications should be submitted in English; only MS Word or PDF formats will be accepted
  • Due to the nature of this Workshop applicants must have a reasonable English ability

For any further questions please email Project staff at 

Reports on the Project’s previous workshops can be seen here and here.

Click here to apply.

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