African Eye News Service (AENS) and HomeGrown Magazines | Publisher and CEO |
Justin Arenstein was raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. After dropping out of journalism school, he moved east to the rural province of Mpumalanga just in time to cover the country's first ever democratic elections in 1994. After getting fired from the local newspaper for campaigning for equal pay for black and white journalists, he and his partner launched the sub-continent's first rural-based independent investigative newswire agency, African Eye News Service (AENS). It is now the largest independent newswire in southern Africa. Ten years later, they diversified by pioneering the first 'city magazines' in South Africa through their HomeGrown Magazines stable and last year spearheaded the establishment of Mpumalanga's first commercial radio station, MPowerFM. Arenstein, as publisher at AENS and HomeGrown, manages a team of 28 full-time staff and 30 editorial contributors in 12 African countries. He is on the boards of the Press Council of South Africa, the Open Democracy Advice Center, and and a number of other media industry bodies. Arenstein has been a keynote speaker at conferences in the US, Denmark, Sweden, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa and has received a number of international awards.