SABC journalist Antoinette Lazarus has been selected to join the World Press Institute Programme to hone her expertise later this year. She is one of four South Africans to have been chosen for the programme in its 48 year history.
Lazarus is an alumnus of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) armed with a National Diploma in Journalism from the ML Sultan Technikon.
She has displayed a progressive record in broadcast media over the past ten years. She has worked for SABC’s New Media department for six years. She is currently a producer/presenter for SABC Newsbreak – the news on phones service. She also reports and sometimes sub-edits for sabcnews.com. Prior to this, she was at East Coast Radio for five years.
The World Press Institute (WPI) is a non-profit organisation which is supported by among others local and national media, multinational US corporations and individuals from around the world.
The WPI program provides immersion into the governance, politics, business, media, journalistic ethics and culture of the United States for experienced international journalists, through a demanding schedule of study, travel and interviews throughout the country.
This year the program will run from mid-August to mid-October and includes visits to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. The fellows will spend eight weeks in the United States, being exposed to the free-press system in the country and the social and cultural diversity of the US. The fellows begin their journey across the US in Minneapolis/St Paul and then move on to Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago.
“I’m very excited about the being selected to go on this programme. So I feel very honoured and privileged to have been selected. I think being on this programme is going to give me immense insight into the American governance and politics, as well the country and its people as a whole,” says Lazarus.
Lazarus says she is excited that she will be in the US at a time when two major political events take place: the Democratic Party holds its national conference -where they choose their presidential candidate for the November election and the Republican Party holds it National Congress. She also feels that there is a strong possibility of the US getting its first black president – Barack Obama – or first woman president – Hillary Clinton. “The historic election is something that any journalist would love to be a part of,” she says.
She will also be interacting with journalists from nine other countries and she believes this will expose her to other cultures. She says the two months she will be spending with the group will broaden her knowledge of the media and newsrooms in the various countries. She also believes It will give the group an opportunity to share ideas and thoughts on issues and challenges journalists face in this every changing society. “I hope to bring back a wealth of knowledge and information and even pass in onto my colleagues,” comments Lazarus.
This is the second time she has been awarded a fellowship. In 2004 she went to Duke University in North Carolina on the Clive Menell Fellowship programme for a month. She was part of a group of international journalists who participated in seminars and workshops on newsroom trends and the media in their respective countries.
She aspires to move up the corporate ladder and prosper there. She is also passionate about giving back to the community and in this case – the industry. She would like use her experience to help train, develop and mentor young journalists