Last year, Pamela Mutale Kapekele became one of many journalists to feel the effects of downsizing when her position was cut from her newspaper's staff.
A short time later, the Zambian journalist read an article on IJNet about a CNN reporter who had recently suffered a similar fate.
"That piece was a great comfort to me. It was an assurance that I was not the only one going through a tough time and gave me strength to move on," Kapekele, now a freelance journalist, writes in her entry in IJNet's storytelling contest.
Kapekele had been browsing opportunities and articles on the website since 2007, but now that she was unemployed, she came to the IJNet site with a new sense of urgency.
She found a course listed on IJNet from the Thomson Reuters Foundation Service, TrustMedia--Financial Economic Reporting--and was accepted. The session March 2011 Johannesburg gave her the idea for an international story "that was discussed in the European Parliament and lead to action against a mining giant that operates in my country, Zambia," she writes.
The resulting story gave Kapekele the recognition she needed to regain her professional footing.
Since then, she and several colleagues have created the Zambian Bloggers Network to help connect citizen journalists in her country.
"Blogging is relatively new in Zambia and I don't think I would have subscribed to the idea if i hadn't read about it on IJNet," she writes. "What I love about IJNet is that it presents information that is trustworthy."
She's also gone on to participate in two more training sessions she found on IJNet: a health data-analyzing workshop offered by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Population Reference Bureau, and a PolicyMic Journalism Bootcamp.
And Kapekele says she's not done yet: "I will continue visiting the site several times a day as I have done for the past five years."
What's your IJNet story? The contest invites IJNet's community to share how you used information or resources you found on IJNet to improve your media skills or grow your journalism career. Tell us and you could win an iPad. To enter, visit our contest website. THE DEADLINE TO ENTER IS MONDAY, OCTOBER 15.
We encourage you to comment, but comments do not count as entries. Submit your story here.
Image courtesy of Pamela Mutale Kapekele.