‘The Kiki’ In Honor of Journalists Who Died of AIDS

A new HIV reporting scholarship, “The Kiki,” was announced today by the nonprofit Bodies on the Line HIV journalism memorial project. The Kiki is designed to support working journalists in different media to report on frontline issues of the HIV epidemic that are under-reported today. The Kiki is named after Curtis “Kiki” Mason, a brash HIV-positive columnist for POZ magazine who died of AIDS in 1996.

A single $5,000 inaugural award is being offered. The Call for Entries opens November 1; the deadline for applications is December 7, 2017. A finalist will be announced on January 7, 2018 for reporting to be completed over a six-month period in 2018.  Information about The Kiki, including eligibility and submission details, are available at the project website: www.bodiesontheline.org.

The Kiki fund is an offshoot of the new ‘Bodies on the Line’ HIV Memorial Project, launched in June in New York City by HIV journalists and editors to honor the lives and legacy of some 200 colleagues who died of AIDS and others who made major contributions to HIV coverage. Their names include pioneering US journalists Max Robinson of ABC News, Jeffrey Schmalz of The New York Times, Randy Shilts of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as columnists for community and cultural media outlets Kiki Mason at POZ, Mike Hippler at the Bay Area Reporter, and Cookie Mueller at Details. The Bodies on the Line Project is an ongoing memorial project that is continuing to develop and invites public and HIV community participation.

 “At a time when the US HIV epidemic continues to heavily impact many communities, we feel it’s essential to increase support for public health and HIV journalism,” said project founder Anne-christine d’Adesky, an award-winning HIV journalist, social justice activist, and author of the new 90s AIDS-era memoir, The Pox Lover. “In the present climate of attacks on the media and‘fake news’, the role of good journalism is more important than ever and that is very true of reporting on HIV.”

Sponsors of The Kiki include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the NLGJA - National LGBTQ Journalists Association and Public Impact as well as leading HIV and LGBTQ media outlets The Advocate, POZ, Plus, TheBody.com, PrideLife, Positively Aware, Central Voice, HIVandHepatitis.com; and OUT-FM. NLGJA will administer The Kiki as a nonprofit project. An editorial group of journalists from HIV publications, major media outlets and graduate journalism programs are involved.

For more information, please contact: kikihivfund AT gmail.com.