Justin Arenstein is one of the leading journalists in South Africa. He has won numerous awards for his reporting on human rights and other contraversial issues within South Africa. He is very influencial within the South African
media industry as he has held many top positions on several commitees and boards as well as creating his own alternative media agency.
Justin Arenestein, a self trained influential South African journalist, was born on May 18th 1970 and resides in Nelspruit, South Africa.(1) He attended Roosevelt high school and the Tshwane University of Technology. He is currently works for Stanford University as Knight fellow and holds many position within the media industry such as Board at FAIR ( Forum for African investigative Reporters) and is the president of AENS ( African Eye News service). (1) In 1995 he personally established AENS with his own savings along with two second hand computers. He is a well known human rights journalist who has even faced
death threats for writing stories. He is a multi award winning journalist who trains reporters throughout rural South Africa.(2)
Justin has held numerous careers simultaneously with numerous news agencies and his positions have ranged from publisher to president. From June 2004-present, Justin has worked for his AENS company as a publisher. He was president of the Association of Independent Publishers which just happens to be Southern Africa's largest body of independent grassroots newspapers, magazines, and so called 'alternative' print media. He has also been working as a publisher for HomeGrown Magazines which is a company that publishes four life style magazines, two tourism magazines and a business magazine. From 2005-present he has worked as a non-executive (this was mostly an advisory position) board member for the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) and during this same period he has worked as a councillor for the Press Council of South Africa. From 2008-present he has worked as a board director for Mpumalanga’s first independent commercial radio station MPowerFM.(1)
Recognitions and awards
Over the years Justin has built a remarkable name for himself as a journalist and he is not undeserving of praise. He has won numerous awards, these being: In 1997 he was awarded the Southern African Courageous Journalism Award. In 1998 he was awarded the MISA African Press Freedom Award. In 2000 he was awarded the Knight International Press Excellence Award and he was also awarded the KATLEGO Development Journalism Award.
In 2001 he was awarded the Duma Nokwe Human Rights Journalism Award.(4) In 2002 he was awarded the Desmond Tutu African Leadership Awards. In 2005 he was awarded the Association of Independent Publishers' Media Innovation Award.(1)
Other professional activities
Most recently (from September 2009-present) he has been working at Stanford University as a Knight Fellow. The Knight Fellowship programme is made up of a number of influential journalists from around the world who give hold seminars about the field of journalism. His work at Stanford University has been primarily research based.(3) Throughout Justin career he has mentored and trained many bright young black South African journalists. In many of his reports he has exposed human rights violations, i.e. pyramid scheme in the Vaal Triangle of which he received death threats. Throughout the majority of his career he has been completely self employed.(3)
1. Linked In. 2009. People: Justin Arenstein. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://tiny.cc/g7VXH
2.John. S Knight Fellowship For Professional Journalists. 2005. John. S Knight Fellowships. Retrieved 16 October 2009 from http://knight.stanford.edu/
3.Open Democracy Advice Centre. 2003. About Us- Board Mmebers. Retrieved 17 October 2009 from http://www.opendemocracy.org.za/about_us/board_members
4. Acacia Web Times. 2002. African Eya. Retrieved 16 October 2009 from http://www.acacia.org.za/WEBTIMES/african_eye.htm