Justin Arenstein is an award-winning journalist and media strategist who works with partners across Africa to help strengthen investigative reporting while also helping media owners adopt new technologies and build more robust business models. One of his newest projects is spearheading the continent's largest open data initiative, Code For Africa, with country programmes in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Arenstein is a start-up junky. Beginning as an anti-corruption investigative journalist in South Africa, he launched the nation's first rural social justice wire-service, African Eye News Service (AENS), before helping pioneer the region's first rural lifestyle magazine publisher (HomeGrown Magazines) and Mpumalanga's first commercial radio station (MPowerFM).
He was also instrumental in establishing three major media non-profit organisations: the continental Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), the regional Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) in southern Africa, and the Southern African Freelance Association (SAFREA).
Arenstein spent 2009/10 on sabbatical as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University, where he explored data journalism, augmented reality and civic engagement media.
How back in Africa, Arenstein serves as a director or advisor on various media industry boards and think-tanks. He is also currently a consultant, as a Knight International Journalism Fellow, for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in Washington DC, where he advises on practical business models for mobile and digital publishing across Africa using geo-locative platforms, ranging from mobile gaming and mobile social networking, to data visualisation, augmented reality and aggregation or curation of content.
Outside of ICFJ work, Arenstein advises Google on data-driven journalism and digital newsroom strategies in Africa, and also leads the African Media Initiative (AMI) digital innovation programme.