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Students in X478 Reporting HIV/AIDS in Africa spend four weeks in Uganda doing just that—reporting on the world’s most challenging disease from the country that has done more to reverse the epidemic than any other.

The first two weeks of the course are in Bloomington learning about HIV and AIDS, about efforts in Uganda aimed at ending the epidemic there and about the history and culture of Africa from lectures by associate professor Jim Kelly and from presentations by daily guest speakers who bring their expertise to the classroom.

Students then travel to Kampala, Uganda, where they take classes at the African Centre for Media Excellence, directed by IU journalism alumnus Peter Mwesige, PhD’04. They next spend three weeks interning for the Daily Monitor, the capital city’s largest privately-owned newspaper. Students fan out across the city to gather interviews, photographs, audio and video recordings for an in-depth story they submit to newsroom editors for publication in the paper. They return to Bloomington to craft three more stories for the American audience that they post to this website.

Kelly, who teaches the course and leads the trip, draws on his many years of experience abroad, including organizing a series of workshops in East Africa and South Asia aimed at strengthening working journalists ability to report on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He took IU classes to Kenya for similar reporting projects in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and to Uganda in 2014, 2016 and 2017. Associate professor Emily Metzgar also travels with the group this year.