INMA Elevate Scholar: Faheem Khota of IOL News

By Paula Felps


Nashville, Tennessee, United States


In December 2023, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded their fourth annual Elevate Scholarship to 50 news media professionals from 31 countries. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.

Faheem Khota of IOL News in South Africa has worked to diversify his skill sets to keep up with changes in the news media industry.
Faheem Khota of IOL News in South Africa has worked to diversify his skill sets to keep up with changes in the news media industry.

Since beginning his journalism career just over 10 years ago, Faheem Khota has watched the industry change — and has consistently adjusted his skills to fit the changing landscape.

Although he began as a graphic journalist, Faheem saw the potential of multimedia to reshape the industry and taught himself how to use video production and podcasting software tools to enhance the business. These products were then integrated across the business, where Faheem trained and mentored teams to grow multimedia adoption across the group. He joined the digital platform IOL News four years ago and was able to share his learnings with the team and discovered impressive results.

“The culmination of these efforts materialised in the full-scale integration of multimedia offerings across our organisation,” he said, noting that this led to success that included awards and an increased viewership ensued, including racking up an impressive viewership of over 3 million monthly video views on IOL.   

At the same time, he took responsibility for establishing and maintaining the IOL Tech vertical, where he said he saw a promising niche in the market pertaining to African tech business.

“Through meticulous curation and strategic leadership, this department not only took flight but thrived, maintaining its momentum within the IOL platform,” he said.   

For the next phase of his professional journey, Faheem is orchestrating audience development and growth for IOL.

“My comprehensive grasp of each facet and operation within the organisation positions me well to spearhead the implementation of novel growth strategies and concepts,” he said. “This dynamic role leverages my proficiency and insights, which have been honed through my diverse experiences across the company's various domains.”

As an Elevate Scholar, Faheem said he is looking forward to improving his skills in every area of the business, including subscriptions, product development, advertising, data analytics, and newsrooms:

“I am dedicated to fostering a well-rounded skill set that encompasses audience engagement, innovative product development, data-driven decision-making, refined advertising strategies, and a nuanced comprehension of newsroom business dynamics. These competencies will position me as a versatile and adaptive professional in the ever-evolving media ecosystem.”

About Paula Felps

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