Reporting HIV/AIDS in Africa

Advocating change
Students interview people living with HIV/AIDS as well as those advocating change. (Chris Conneighton | The Media School)

Tell the stories of people in east Africa who are working to eradicate HIV/AIDS, a devastating disease that affects the entire world, but originated in Africa. Reporting HIV/AIDS in Africa is a four-credit course during first eight-week summer session that provides an immersive lesson on health reporting. The class includes a four-week trip to Uganda during May and June, where students intern at the Daily Monitor, the country’s largest privately-owned newspaper.

Taught by associate professor Jim Kelly, the course requires students to spend the first two weeks in Bloomington learning about the basic pathology of HIV/AIDS with specific emphasis on the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Guest speakers provide insight into the culture of east Africa, its media system and the work of non-governmental organizations providing prevention, treatment and support to HIV-positive people in the region.

Students then travel to Kampala, Uganda, for two days of additional training at the African Centre for Media Excellence and three weeks of reporting internship. They collect interviews, photographs, videos and other material necessary to produce in-depth stories on health care issues.

The class returns to Bloomington for the final two weeks of editing and production. Stories will be published in the Daily Monitor and on a school website, and students may pitch them to U.S. media outlets for publication.

To apply for the course, you must:

  • be on track to be a sophomore by credit hours (30 hours completed) by the end of spring 2018 semester, or be a master’s student.
  • have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • be on track to be admitted to The Media School by the end of the spring 2018 semester.
  • be on track to have successfully completed the following courses by the end of spring 2018 semester:
    • MSCH-C101, JOUR-J110, TEL-T101 or CMCL-C190
    • MSCH-C225 or JOUR-J200
    • MSCH-C226 or JOUR-J210

The Media School provides a scholarship to all students admitted to this course to lower the course fee assessed for travel.

  • Full program costs: $5,000
  • Scholarship: $1,500
  • Course fee after scholarship: $3,500

The course fee covers round-trip transportation from Bloomington, lodging, all required activities, health insurance and some meals. We recommend students also have at least $400 available during the trip to cover meals and personal expenses.

Students are responsible for the tuition cost of four summer credit hours. Your tuition rate varies based on your student status. Visit IU’s tuition estimator for more information.

These expenses can be reduced through other scholarships and grants, such as the Hutton International Experiences grant.


  • Contact Katie Beck, associate director of student services, experiential education, by email or by phone at 812-856-3535.
  • Read about the 2018 trip.
  • Apply by Jan. 10, 2018.