M&G introduces its newly established Health Journalism Centre (HJC). Read about the HJC and meet the team.
The Mail & Guardian Health Journalism Centre was established in January 2013 and seeks to improve reporting on health and social issues in Africa. The centre is co-funded by the M&G and German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ.
The influence that the news media wields in the health sector is substantial and it bears considerable responsibility. Sensationalist and misleading reporting on health and social issues can fuel fear and misconceptions and promote discrimination. Accurate and compelling stories, on the other hand, can break down prejudices and give people access to prevention, treatment and care information that can save their lives.
The centre's staff aims to promote the principles of accurate and clear reporting while simultaneously humanising health issues through including relevant case studies in media coverage.
The centre provides and co-ordinates extensive online and print health coverage for the M&G. In addition to this, it offers three month health journalism fellowships to South African and Southern African Development Community journalists. During these fellowships reporters receive hands-on mentoring in the production of health stories and are offered the opportunity to publish their work in the M&G. Fellowship arrangements are flexible, and often include coverage for fellows' home publications.
The centre also organises public discussion forums and trainings on health-related issues for South African journalists. For more information, please contact Mia Malan on [email protected]
Meet the team
Mia Malan – Editor/Director
Mia Malan is the founding director of the Mail & Guardian Health Journalism Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. She also serves as the M&G's health editor. Prior to this she was a health journalism lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
From January 2009 – April 2011, Mia was a Knight Health Journalism Fellow in South Africa during which she trained and mentored reporters from the country's largest community television station, SOWETO TV, to establish a weekly health programme. The television programme has been running for four years and has since also managed to attract significant advertising.
From 2003–2006 Mia established the first health journalism programme of the international media development organisation, Internews Network, in Kenya. In middle 2006 she moved to the Internews head office in Washington, DC to become its Senior Health Journalism Advisor. During this period she helped to implement the training curricula that she developed in Kenya in several other countries, including Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Haiti and Thailand. Mia has also worked as a consultant health journalism trainer in Iran, Namibia and the Czech Republic.
Mia has edited two HIV journalism media training manuals and has published on HIV and the media in the Brown Journal of World Affairs and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She has also widely presented at international conferences on this subject and has published several book chapters on health journalism.
Mia has reported regularly on health issues for South African media houses, including the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the Mail & Guardian for the past fifteen years. During this period she won numerous awards for her work, including the CNN Radio Journalist of the Year, the Henry. J. Kaiser Foundation's Award for Excellence in Health Journalism, the US/SA Health Journalism Award for TV Reporting and a Standard Bank Sikuvile Print Award in 2012. She was named a Reuters Foundation Medical Journalism Fellow at Oxford University in 2001.
Mia has a Master's Degree in Science Journalism from the University of Stellenbosch.
Amy Green – Reporter
Amy Green is a health reporter at the Mail & Guardian and obtained an honours degree in health journalism from Rhodes University in 2011.
Prior to joining the M&G she investigated the abuse of the attention deficit disorder drug, Ritalin, among university students – an expose that was published on the ebook website Mampoer Shorts. Amy has also written for publications such as Grocott's Mail, The Springs Advertiser, Ezempilo Health Matters and Health Workers for Change.
Ina Skosana – Reporter
Ina Skosana is a health reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She obtained an BA Journalism at the University of Pretoria in 2010 where she was the political reporter for the campus edition of the Afrikaans Daily Beeld.
Prior to joining the M&G, she was the health reporter at The New Age. In 2011 Ina was selected as one of ten South African journalists to take up an International Women's Health Foundation HIV journalism fellowship. During this period she produced several investigative HIV articles.
Mara Kardas-Nelson – fellow
Mara Kardas-Nelson is hosted at the M & G Health Journalism Centre as part of a year-long project funded by OSF. Throughout 2013, she will be working on a series of stories considering access to health care within Southern Africa. Work will be focused on South Africa, but will also include a regional aspect, with travel planned in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
Prior to working on the project, Mara worked with MSF/Doctor's Without Borders Access Campaign, where she focused on intellectual property-related issues. She also worked with the Treatment Action Campaign in a variety of capacities, including as the assistant editor of Equal Treatment, the magazine of TAC.
Mara has contributed to the Mail & Guardian since 2009. Her work has been featured in African, European, and North American publications. She is based in Cape Town.