Press Statement

The Association of Independent Publishers (AIP), a community print and online membership-based organisation, is proud to announce that it has won a grant from the US Embassy.

The project will boost the sustainability of community print and online media by selecting a diverse group of 10 community publishers to attend a three-week study visit in 2023 to Ohio to develop their thinking on the thorny issue of media sustainability in the digital environment.

AIP will be working with one of the world’s leading academic institutions focused on local media, the Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) within the  E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University  in Athens, Ohio, USA.

Jatin Srivastava (professor and director of the IIJ) and Bill Reader (professor and IIJ board member) will coordinate the course in the United States. To ensure the widest dissemination of all content provided, presentations and workshops will be livestreamed and archived online for the benefit of the programme participants – and also most importantly all interested publishers and community media back in South Africa. The three-week trip will include training, research, lectures and workshare visits with local publishers. The aim is for each publisher to develop a unique, relevant sustainability plan for their publication/s.

Finally, on their return to South Africa the publishers will participate in four workshops organised around the country to share their lessons learnt with other publishers. The US experts will participate in these workshops online.

Background to AIP

AIP is a community-media, membership-based organisation that was established in 2005. We represent grassroots community newspapers (both online and print) across the country. We have 226 AIP members that publish just over 4 million copies per month (reaching close to 12 million readers).

AIP member publications are distinct from mainstream media owned by the large media groups like Media 24, Independent, Caxton and Arena. Our publishers are independent and based in the communities they serve.

AIP members publish primarily in townships, rural areas and small towns in all our 11 official languages. They service a diverse range of interests including news, current affairs, business, the arts, education and the sciences.